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Site for sore eyes Gangster's widow Ann Connors at war with council over unofficial 'holiday chalets' site

'Fat' Andy's wife at war with locals and planners over building on Mansfield site

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Ann Connors has built on land owned by the Mansfield company.

Ann Connors has built on land owned by the Mansfield company.

Ann Connors has built on land owned by the Mansfield company.

County planners are expected to wade into a dispute this week about illegal developments on lands around Traveller Ann Connors' property, The Ranch, which has been turned into a sprawling unofficial halting site where the widow offers "chalets" for rent for €1,500 per week.

Connors has been at war with locals in Saggart, south county Dublin for months and has expanded onto a neighbouring site owned by the Mansfield family, where she has laid 2,000 square metres of concrete, tapped into plumbing and waste water systems, built a surrounding wall and opened up an entrance onto the main road.

That site is registered to Boherboy properties, a Mansfield company, and enforcement notices have been sent to Anne Mansfield, the widow of the late Jim Mansfield Snr along with her son PJ and grandson Samuel.

They may now face a hefty bill to remove the works, despite the fact that they are understood to have had nothing to do with the developments.

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Patrick James (PJ) Mansfield.

Patrick James (PJ) Mansfield.

Patrick James (PJ) Mansfield.

They have been told to 'restore the land to it's condition prior to the commencement of the developments' or face a €5,000 fine or imprisonment.

Letters and site inspections have already cost €1,300 which they have been told to repay and it is understood that Connors has received similar warnings.

The expanse of Connors' property, known as The Ranch, where her criminal husband 'Fat' Andy Connors was shot dead in 2014, are discussed on this week's Crime World podcast, along with Fat Andy's decades-long history of involvement in organised crime.

Planning enforcement notices have been sent to Connors and to the Mansfields with a deadline for them to remove the works by Tuesday, June 8th, at which point they have been warned the Council can move in and undo it themselves.

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The Ranch, the home of Ann Connors.

The Ranch, the home of Ann Connors.

The Ranch, the home of Ann Connors.

In recent weeks up to 40 caravans moved in to the property and remained there for a number of nights before moving on while locals have been complaining for months about the comings and goings of visitors to 'chalets' and pitch sites which they say have insufficient sanitary facilities.

Our pictures show the extraordinary birds eye view of the lands around The Ranch which Connors has turned into a massive traveller compound complete with caravan bays and where she has blatantly advertised rentals.

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Connors is subject to a €2.5 million tax bill against her, and the Criminal Assets Bureau have 'judgement mortgages' on several properties, including The Ranch and The Villa, which has remained within her property portfolio despite a previous investigation by the Bureau.

Locals say they are living under siege and that boundary lands are being used as a massive outdoor toilet and dumping site while animal welfare officers have had to remove dead and decaying horses from surrounding fields.

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The Ranch, which has been turned into a sprawling
unofficial halting site.

The Ranch, which has been turned into a sprawling unofficial halting site.

The Ranch, which has been turned into a sprawling unofficial halting site.

For decades 'Fat' Andy Connors headed up a large burglary gang and operated as an underworld banker, loaning money to criminal figures for illegal enterprises and laundering the proceeds of robberies which terrorised businesses and residents in rural Ireland.

Nobody has been charged with his murder but officers suspect that a row over money led to him being shot dead at his home seven years ago.

After his death it is understood that his widow employed the services of Martin 'The Viper' Foley and another known criminal to try to strong-arm land for her in lieu of debts she claimed to be owned.

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The late 'Fat' Andy Connors

The late 'Fat' Andy Connors

The late 'Fat' Andy Connors

The Mansfield family owned the lands surrounding The Ranch and behind it built plush Coldwater Lakes, a gated community of exclusive family properties home to multi millionaire visionary Christina Gallagher amongst others.

They also own the site neighbouring Connors' land, which has recently been gravelled and where a mobile home has been placed. A boundary wall has also recently been erected around the site and an entrance gate has been opened up onto the main road, although planners do not believe the works were carried out by the owners of the site.

Early last month the council sent planning enforcement orders to Connors to return the sites to their original state or face the bill for authorities doing so.

Ongoing complaints have been made to the Council in relation to planning offences, littering and dumping, as well as the installation of sewage pipes, but the problem appears to be getting bigger all the time.

'Fat' Andy was part of a large burglary gang that terrorised the country for decades carrying out smash and grab raids and which were once dubbed the 'Subaru' gang because of their use of high-powered cars to escape the scenes.

All the while he built up a property portfolio around the Saggart and Tallaght areas, including a five-bedroom mansion, The Villa, which was once valued at €3 million but which has been vacant for years.

The Criminal Assets Bureau took a revenue case against Connors after her husband's death and has secured judgement mortgages against nine properties linked to her, including farmland.

The judgements mean that any proceeds from the widow's interest in the properties would go to the CAB should the properties be sold, but so far there are no sales gone through.

The family were watching the Rose of Tralee when a masked gunman arrived at the door in 2014 and shot 'Fat' Andy a number of times. He died in his wife's arms and was later buried in a gold-plated coffin, which was estimated to be worth €100,000. He was laid to rest with a large Rolex watch on his arm and his grave remembers him as 'Big Fat Rich Andy Connors.'

The Ranch is now used for family occasions and where Ann Connors displays collections of Royal Crown Derby dinnerware and other items which she claims she sells to make ends meet.

Connors has been advertising the 'holiday chalets' around her land and offers pitch sites for caravans. In recent years she has told a court that she is surviving on social welfare payments because CAB 'took all her money'.

The Crime World podcast is available on iTunes, spotify and soundcloud.

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