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Ratt's that Killer Brian Rattigan set to walk free from prison after 18 years behind bars

It is another major headache for gardaí, as Rattigan's expected release date is just four days after another convicted killer was let loose on the streets.

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Brian Rattigan

Brian Rattigan

Brian Rattigan

A major garda alert will be put in place tomorrow as notorious gangland killer Brian Rattigan is due to walk free from Portlaoise Prison after spending more than 18 years behind bars.

Rattigan (41) has indicated he plans to move back to his family home in Drimnagh.

Crumlin gardaí will draw up a special policing plan to deal with his release, including an increase in armed patrols.

It is another major headache for gardaí, as Rattigan's expected release date is just four days after another convicted killer was let loose on the streets.

Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch (35) was released from Wheatfield Prison at the weekend after serving a 16-year sentence for a variety of serious offences.

He is officially under "severe threat" and while the threat level against Rattigan is not considered as high, sources said detectives are conscious that he has plenty of serious potential enemies and many of his closest associates have been murdered while he was locked up.

Gardaí are investigating reports that Rattigan may be planning to move to Spain after he attempted to organise a passport for himself for his release.

"Spain may be even more dangerous for Rattigan than Dublin. He might be best advised to stay put," a senior source said, before dismissing claims by the criminal that he is a "changed man".

"Gardaí in general would be very sceptical of this - he was a criminal with a huge propensity for violence before he got locked up. It's hard to see that he has changed."

This is a reference to the fact that Rattigan said in a sworn affidavit to the High Court in 2019 that he was a "changed man".

The affidavit said Rattigan wants to "lead a law-abiding life upon my release and am committed to never returning to prison."

In a sworn statement on behalf of his former arch enemy 'Fat' Freddie Thompson, Rattigan said there was no "bad blood" between himself and his fellow inmate in Portlaoise Prison.

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Rattigan said that relations between the two were good, that they had had long conversations in prison, and that their families had met.

The two were housed together in the same wing in the maximum security Portlaoise Prison and pose no security threat to each other, he added.

Rattigan's comments were contained in a statement sworn in support of Thompson's High Court challenge against the prison authorities over what he claimed were the oppressive conditions of his detention over 18 months in the A wing at Portlaoise.

Rattigan, who has convictions for manslaughter and possession of drugs for sale and supply, added that after being in prison for so long, he hopes that the Irish Prison Service will comply with its obligation to reintegrate him into society.

The notorious criminal, formerly of Cooley Road, Drimnagh, has been in prison for most of his adult life and pleaded guilty in October 2018 to killing 21-year-old Declan Gavin - the fatal stabbing that caused the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, which led to at least 15 murders.

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Declan Gavin who was killed by Brian Rattigan. Photo credit: RTE

Declan Gavin who was killed by Brian Rattigan. Photo credit: RTE

Declan Gavin who was killed by Brian Rattigan. Photo credit: RTE

He had previously been convicted of Gavin's murder but this was overturned in 2017 and he was jailed for nine years for his manslaughter in January 2019.

Father-of-one Rattigan has been in custody in relation to the death of Gavin since he was first charged with the offence in September 2003, but during that time he has also served separate sentences for serious drugs, firearms and assault convictions.

Rattigan was also given a 17-year sentence for organising a €1m heroin deal from his jail cell in Portlaoise Prison.

However, that sentence which was imposed in March 2013, was backdated to the time when gardaí made the massive bust, which was June 2008.

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