Dealer's downfall | 

The fall from grace of former gang boss Jeffrey Mitchell who died alone in hostel

“I sold drugs and robbed banks, but I don’t go around shooting people," he previously told us.

Jeffrey Mitchell in 2002. Photo: Collins

Jeffrey Mitchell

Eamon DillonSunday World

Jeffrey Mitchell escaped a gangland hit team and survived an almost fatal prison attack only to die from a suspected heroin overdose - the drug he once sold in huge quantities.

The 49-year-old, laid to rest last Tuesday, was once one of Dublin’s biggest drug dealers, shipping an estimated 40-kilos of heroin a week in the late 1990s and who paid for his girlfriend’s boob job.

Discovered dead with €45,000 worth of heroin in a north county Dublin hostel last Friday, he had long since ceased to be a player in Ireland’s underworld.

But in 2000 he was considered one of new breed of dangerous drug dealers along with The Westies and the Ballyfermot-based The Family.

He was the target of Operation Jumbo such was his growing infamy after the murders of Neil Hanlon and courier David McGreevy in 2001 and 2002.

Mitchell had worked closely with the Westies, another young gang with a reputation for extreme violence, but they fell out over a seized heroin consignment.

When Mitchell refused to pay his supplier for the lost drugs, the supplier asked the Westies gang for help.

In June 2001, two members of the gang burst into Mitchell's home and tried to shoot their former partner who managed to escape through a rear window without injury.

Members of The Westies gang raided a flat in south Dublin in August which was used as a money-counting house by Mitchell.

One of Mitchell's associates was severely beaten and stabbed, and a gun was also held to his girlfriend's mouth.

Mitchell accused Neil Hanlon of giving The Westies gang information about him, according to sources, and he was never seen alive again after leaving his family home in Crumlin in September 2001.

Jeffrey Mitchell

Four months later gardaí discovered his mutilated remains in a shallow grave in a Crumlin park.

Mitchell had also fallen out with The Family in Ballyfermot after a €1.9 million heroin deal went wrong and resulted in one of their senior members being convicted.

A member of Mitchell’s gang, 23-year-old Dave McGreevy was shot dead outside his home in Tallaght in February 2002, a killing which remains unsolved.

Not long afterwards Mitchell angrily denied he had anything to do with the murder, telling the Sunday World he didn’t shoot people.

“I sold drugs and robbed banks, but I don’t go around shooting people," he said.

“I don’t order hits on cops or screws or ordinary people.”

Mitchell claimed that he was being blamed for the murder by “the papers” and that McCreevy was his best friend.

Around this time the charming and genial Mitchell was regularly using a canal-side apartment he had bought in Naas, Co Kildare and would turn up in local pubs to watch football matches.

The soccer-mad charmer was also a big hit with women and despite his violent streak was known to pay his gang members well.

He was arrested in Naas at gunpoint after going on the run following a botched armed jewellery robbery for which he was later convicted and got a six-year sentence.

Mitchell didn’t do his time quietly behind bars which saw him blamed for an attack on another inmate in Wheatfield Prison and then for a cache of weapons found in Limerick Prison.

It is thought his trouble with The Family caught up with him in the Midlands Prison in 2004 when a cereal bowl was smashed over his head and then stabbed with the shards.

He was taken for treatment to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin for the head and neck injuries he suffered in the near fatal attack.

During his spell in prison, he suffered personal tragedy with eight members of his family, including his parents, dying in an eight-month period.

It was later heard in a subsequent court case that saw him fall into serious drug addiction.

By 2019 a different picture of Mitchell emerged in court where his alcohol and drug abuse were laid bare.

He had pleaded guilty to a frightening assault on a woman after he had drank 30 vodkas on the night and had been using with heroin at the time in 2013.

A woman who left a pub in Phibsborough at 3am to walk homes suddenly heard a running noise behind her and an arm reached around her neck, it was heard in court.

The woman was dragged from the footpath onto gravel and was told by her attacker that if she kept moving he would throw her into the canal.

Mitchell who had 70 previous convictions including assault, robbery, possession of a firearm and handling stolen property was given a three-year prison sentence.

He was buried last Tuesday at Bohernabreena Cemetery in Tallaght after a funeral Mass in his native Crumlin.

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