Wife of Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady, who helped launder €770k heads off to prison in carefully choreographed handover
Brady (55), the wife of convicted Kinahan cartel quartermaster, Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady, arrived at Naas Garda Station on Monday morning for a carefully choreographed handover with gardaí.
She had been ordered to hand herself in to begin a one-year sentence for helping to launder €770,000 of Kinahan cartel cash
The 55-year-old was driven into the front-yard of the station in the back of a Jaguar with blacked-out rear windows at 9.48am.
But Brady didn’t get out or enter the Garda station – preferring to remain concealed inside the luxurious vehicle until plain-clothes gardaí arrived in an unmarked Opel Insignia almost 20 minutes later.
A plain-clothes officer then stepped outside and ushered Brady into the back of the Garda car.
The unmarked car then exited the station grounds at speed, travelling in the direction of Dublin, where Brady was scheduled to sign in at the Dochas Women’s Prison a short time later.
Brady’s arrival at the Dublin prison will have been a bitter pill for her to swallow – after she almost dodged jail completely for her money-laundering activities.
But her hopes of escaping a custodial sentence were dashed by the Court of Appeal last December when it ruled a fully- suspended sentence originally handed down to her was too lenient.
Brady – with an address at the Bailey, Castlefarm, Naas, Co. Kildare – was originally given a wholly suspended three-year sentence in July last year after she pleaded guilty to two offences contrary to Section 7 of Criminal Justice Act at the Special Criminal Court.
Brady had gone on trial at the three-judge court with husband Declan (56), who was jailed for seven years and three months for laundering cash for a criminal organisation.
Declan Brady’s mistress, Erika Lukacs, also received a three-year fully-suspended sentence for her role in laundering almost €200,000.
The court heard that Brady and his wife laundered crime cash through transfers that included mortgage payments on a Spanish holiday property, a wedding at Druid’s Glen and transfers to other gang members.
A bar tab and room bills for €27,000 from the wedding at the posh golf resort were paid for in cash, while both Brady and his wife declared no income to the Revenue over the period in question, the court also heard.
At the hearing of the appeal, Fiona Murphy SC, for the DPP, said the offences involved four bank accounts – a joint PTSB account which Brady held with her husband, and which contained €94,000; an Ulster bank account, which held €347,000; an AIB account, with €205,000 lodged in it; and a Bank of Ireland account containing €85,000.
There was also a sum of €34,000 which had been transferred to the Druids Glen resort to pay for a family wedding, while €141,000 had been transferred to an Irish citizen in Spain, known as Thomas Kavanagh, whom Ms Murphy said was known to Gardaí.
The total amount involved was €770,499, counsel said.
“This was a significant amount of money, over a significant period of time,” she added.
Ms Murphy also said there was nothing to suggest Brady had been under the “coercive control” of her husband, whom Mr Justice George Birmingham described during submissions as a “high-end offender”.
“There might not have been the Gucci handbag or Chanel jewellery, but Brady enjoyed a standard of living that might not have been available to her otherwise,” said Ms Murphy.
Michael Bowman SC, for Brady, had told the court that to establish undue leniency, the State must demonstrate the original sentence was “a substantial or gross departure from the norm”.
His client’s husband, counsel said, had worked for “the most serious criminal organisation this country has ever known” and had been a “malign influence” on her.
His client, Mr Bowman said, had fully cooperated with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and was forced to sell the family home in Celbridge – which had been “legitimately purchased” in the 1980s with help from her father – as a part of the CAB agreement.
Declan Brady, known as ‘Mr Nobody’, last of The Park, Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, had pleaded guilty to concealing cash totalling €268,940 in the attic of The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co. Kildare, on January 24, 2017.
He was already serving 11-and-a-half years in prison after he admitted supervising a firearms arsenal, including an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition that had been stashed in a Dublin business park.
Quashing the sentence handed down by the Special Criminal Court, and imposing a one-year jail term to begin last Monday, Mr Justice George Birmingham asked: “Did she [Brady] think the money was coming from heaven, or from a fairy godmother?”
Mr Justice John Edwards said the DPP submitted that the overall gravity of the case meant the custody threshold had been “unquestionably” passed and that the fully-suspended sentence amounted to an error in principle.
“While the evidence does not suggest that the respondent had any detailed knowledge of the organisation with which her husband was involved, or concerning precisely what criminal activity it was engaged in, the respondent was nonetheless aware that her husband was receiving undeclared income from what... she must have suspended to be criminal activities,” he said.
As the presiding judge observed, the obvious question arises as to ‘where did she think this manna from heaven was coming from?’,” said Mr Justice Edwards.
The judge also noted that Brady was “not entirely passive” in the enterprise in that she was “actively” involved in the management of a property in Spain funded by undeclared income.
The judge identified six years’ imprisonment as a headline sentence for Brady and gave her a four-year discount “to reflect the substantial mitigating circumstances in the case, to include the early plea of guilt.”
Mr Justice Edwards said the final 12 months of the two-year jail term would be suspended for two years upon her release, during which she is to be of good behaviour.