Notorious gangster Ger Dundon facing jail after violent €343k blackmail plot conviction

The Sunday World can also reveal that vicious thug Dundon has altered his name by deed poll to ‘Darren McClean’

Ger Dundon has changed his name to Darren McClean.

Mark Kavanagh

Keane Mulready-Woods© PA

John Dundon

Ailing gang boss Cornelius Price

Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast in June 2020.

Notorious hitman Robbie Lawlor

Ken FoySunday World

Notorious gangster Ger Dundon is facing jail in the UK after he was convicted this week over a blackmail plot where he ‘threatened to shoot two dudes in the head’ if a £300,000 (€343k) ransom was not paid.

The Sunday World can reveal that the Limerick criminal has changed his name by deed poll to Darren McClean and it was this name that he was referred to throughout the lengthy trial.

The 37-year-old senior member of Limerick’s infamous McCarthy-Dundon gang was remanded in further custody on Thursday after he was convicted by a jury of two charges of conspiracy to blackmail and one of conspiracy to falsely imprison. He was cleared on two charges of kidnap.

He was the only one convicted in the trial with four others, including Drogheda criminal Mark Kavanagh, cleared of all charges.

Ailing gang boss Cornelius Price

Dundon’s close associate and gang boss Cornelius Price was too ill to stand trial, despite being charged and suspected of being the main player in the plot.

The trial had heard that two brothers were blindfolded and warned they would have their brains splattered ‘all over the road’ while held at a caravan site at Smithy Fen, Cambridgeshire.

The pair, who cannot be named by order of the court, were fed sleeping tablets, made to wash with Dettol spray and forced to call their relatives in a bid to get cash for their release in July 2020, jurors heard.

Dundon faces the prospect of a lengthy jail sentence in March when he next appears at Wood Green Crown Court in London.

After the Limerick thug was convicted, he shouted ‘this is bullsh*t’, adding: “This court is corrupt to the backbone, the decision was wrong.”

A long-time target for police forces on both sides of the Irish sea, Dundon’s conviction was welcomed by one of the lead detectives who investigated the disturbing blackmail plot.

In a statement to the Sunday World, Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, DS Garry Jackson said: “The investigation was incredibly complex and involved a number of police forces who supported our efforts, including the Metropolitan Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

“I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved from Staffordshire for working tirelessly on the case. As a force we are committed to tackling and disrupting organised criminality.”

It is unclear when Ger Dundon changed his name to Darren McClean but it is believed to have been after he left Ireland following his release from PSNI custody having been arrested in relation to the murder of gangland psychopath Robbie Lawlor.

The Limerick gangland thug, who has a wide range of crime contacts throughout the UK, is understood to have “hooked up” with his pal Cornelius Price (40) who was then based in the English town of Rochdale.

Price had fled his fortified compound in Gormanston, Co. Meath, in the aftermath of the savage murder of his associate Keane Mulready Woods (17) in January, 2020 after the teen’s killers issued threats on his life.

Keane Mulready-Woods© PA

Price was too ill to stand trial with his five alleged associates after he suffered a brain injury and is being treated in a Welsh hospital. Price is still in a coma and is unlikely to recover.

Ger Dundon’s brothers, Dessie, Wayne and John, are all serving life sentences for different Limerick murders, while he was jailed for four years in October, 2018, after he helped hide an automatic, pump-action, sawn-off shotgun in an outside toilet of a house, and then fled from armed gardaí in a dangerous high-speed chase on February 26, 2017.

After his release from jail, Ger Dundon continued to be involved in serious organised criminality and he is a suspect in the murder of notorious gangster Robbie Lawlor in the North.

In December, at Belfast High Court, during a bail application for a man charged in connection with Lawlor’s murder, Dundon was named as being part of a three-man hit team involved in the murder.

Notorious hitman Robbie Lawlor

Levi Killeen, who was just 17 at the time of the murder, his uncle, Ger Dundon and a third man, Quincy Bramble, were all named in court by barrister Joe Brolly.

The three were stopped by the PSNI in a car in the hours after the killing, were questioned but let go without charge.

The prosecution in that case say that the PSNI has no evidence to link them to the killing, but the defence argue that CCTV showing the three was in fact them stalking out their victim.

Referring to CCTV viewing records from that location, defence barrister Joe Brolly said the alleged assassination team who he identified as being Ger Dundon, Levi Killeen and Quincy Bramble went to the property on the evening of April 1.

Two of them [Ger Dundon and Quincy Bramble] approached the flat while an accomplice [Levi Killeen] who had never previously met their intended target kept his distance, Mr Brolly said.

“Lawlor comes to the front door of his apartment, and (Levi Killeen) hangs back where he can’t be seen,” he submitted.

“That gave the gunman a look at Robbie Lawlor.”

Three days later he was shot dead outside a house at Etna Drive.

Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast in June 2020.

Advancing what he described as a “very, very good theory”, Mr Brolly claimed the three-man team was intercepted by police following the shooting but then released and allowed to leave Northern Ireland.

Levi Killeen is the son of Ger Dundon’s jailed brother John (40), while Quincy Bramble (33) also faced trial in the UK for the blackmail plot for which Ger Dundon has been convicted.

Bramble was cleared of two charges of conspiracy to falsely imprison and two of conspiracy to blackmail on Thursday.

Bramble was also cleared of two charges of kidnap..

Also cleared of all charges was Drogheda feud gangster Mark Kavanagh (34), of Yellowbatter in Drogheda, who is aligned with Drogheda mob boss Owen Maguire and Cornelius Price.

He denied two charges of conspiracy to falsely imprison, two charges of conspiracy to blackmail and two of conspiracy to kidnap the brothers between July 7 and 17 2020. He was cleared on Monday.

Mark Kavanagh

The jury had deliberated for just under 40 hours in total.

Judge John Dodd said he will sentence McClean AKA Dundon on March 10.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte, KC, had earlier told how the brothers were driven in a BMW to a flat in Highbury Hill, near Arsenal football stadium, on July 8, 2020.

One of the victims said they believed they were meeting someone to pay a debt of £7,500 they owed to a man called Warren Crossan, who was shot dead in Belfast in June 2020.

“Some of the men in the flat were armed,” said Ms Whyte. “McClean (Ger Dundon) was wearing jogging bottoms, a jacket and a facemask. The victim could see a handgun in McClean’s waistband.

“Inside the flat, McClean spoke to the victims. Then, without warning, four or five black men ‘stormed’ into the room. They were all armed with knives or bladed weapons.

“The victims were pushed to the floor and told not to move. Mobile phones and wallets were taken from them.

“Between them they were carrying over £2,000 in cash. The car keys to the BMW were also taken.”

The victims’ hands were bound with parcel tape and they were led from the flat. They were then held against their will at different locations and blackmailed,’ Ms Whyte said.

They were told they owed Crossan £330,000.

In a recording of a call made to relatives of the victims, Dundon always described in court as McClean says: ‘If you f--k up I’m going to put their brains all over the road, okay.

“If you f**k my people around I’m gonna shoot these two dudes in the head.” One victim feared his finger would be cut off.

Dundon denied kidnapping the men.

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