Kinahan cartel mobster’s mum weds former top detective as CAB closes in on property and cash

Julie Conway and former detective Dave ‘Rocky’ O’Brien’s wedding

Nabbed: A Proceeds of Crime case is before the courts

Nicola Tallant

THE mother of cartel lieutenant Ross Browning has married her garda lover as she prepares to face a family showdown with the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Julie Conway tied the knot with former cold case detective Dave ‘Rocky’ O’Brien during the summer and was on honeymoon when the Bureau served notice of proceedings on her son and a list of relatives and associates who are named in the case.

However, she has since been told that she is a respondent in the case and a large sum of cash found at her home during a search has been listed as part of the Proceeds of Crime case before the courts. Detective Garda O’Brien is not named in the proceedings but it is understood he was present at Browning’s vast north county Dublin compound during CAB raids in 2018.

Glam granny Julie wore a traditional white wedding dress complete with a flowing train for her nuptials held last July just as CAB were finalising their case against her criminal son and other members of her family.

Her sister, Lesley Conway, who is also named in proceedings, quipped on social media: “When the sister marries the copper.” It is understood that cash found in Lesley’s home on the Navan Road is also listed in the case.

Former colleagues of O’Brien were shocked to hear that he had married the mother of such a senior Kinahan figure. The pair said ‘I do’ despite once denying they knew one another while he was still a serving garda.

11/09/14 Julie Conway Browning (49) of Dermot O'Dwyer House, Hardwicke Street appeared before Dublin District Court this afternoon, after she pleaded not guilty to giving false information to GSOC in the course of an investigation in 2012. Pic Collins Courts

They were both found guilty of lying to GSOC during an investigation over allegations a Valentine’s card, a g-string and a bullet had been sent in the post to a fellow officer.

Phone records showed that they were in regular contact and texted one another more than 200 times despite claiming they were strangers.

Detective O’Brien was one of just a handful of gardai who were chosen from hundreds of applicants to form the elite Serious Crime Review Team when it was formed in 2009. At that point he had been a detective for almost 15 years and had served mainly in the Mountjoy district in Dublin, which covered the Hardwicke Street flats area where Browning lived with mum Julie.

As the pair honeymooned on a staycation in Ireland, the Criminal Assets Bureau launched major proceedings against Ross Browning, who has fled to the United Arab Emirates.

The Bureau hopes to relieve him of an extensive property portfolio, including a private estate in north county Dublin complete with two houses, outbuildings and paddocks.

Ross Browning

Officers will say that the vast compound in Garristown, near the Co Meath border, was bought with the proceeds of crime from Browning’s career in the Kinahan cartel. They will also claim that plots of land on a coastal road at Rush, a property in Finglas along with cars, watches and cash seized during raids, should all be forfeited.

Browning’s sisters Robyn and Cheryl are also listed as respondents in the proceedings which have been filed at the High Court. Cash totalling more than E10,000 was seized at their local authority flats at Dermot O’Dwyer House.

The Conway-Brownings have prided themselves on being super fit and healthy living. Cheryl works at her brother’s ‘Living I’ gym, while aunt Lesley Conway regularly holds fitness classes there. The family even succeeded in getting a place on RTE show Ireland’s Fittest Family but footage filmed had to be scrapped in 2016 when TV chiefs were told Browning was facing trial relating to a false passport. The charges were later dropped.

Seizures: CAB raids on Ross Browning’s massive compound in north county Dublin

Browning is a top tier member of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group and has been involved with the mob for almost two decades since he started working as a driver and an enforcer for Daniel Kinahan.

He rose through the ranks and is credited for introducing the first cell structure in the north inner city to the mob. It was made up of his friend, hitman for hire Eamon Cumberton, INLA heavy Johnny Keogh and others believed to be responsible for some of the first murders of the feud.

It is also believed that associates of Browning were involved in bringing international assassin Imre Arakas to Ireland where he planned to murder Hutch targets.

Search: A CAB officer collects items in a raid on Ross Browning’s property

Browning was one of the key Kinahan operatives in Hardwicke Street flats which has been their stronghold for years. He was a childhood friend of convicted sex offender Barry Finnegan and his cousin Gary Finnegan, who is one of Daniel Kinahan’s closest associates. As a teenager he was caught carrying out an armed robbery along with Barry Finnegan and Robert Browne, a soldier who would later be caught plotting to kill Patsy Hutch.

At one point Browning claimed he turned his back on his mob pals to live as a spiritual vegan under the teachings of controversial Californian medic Dr Robert O’Young.

Gardai say that his mother Julie Conway has been living in a house on his compound along with her Garda partner for years. It is understood that they were under surveillance when they recently married in front of a small group but that Ross Browning did not return for the nuptials.

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