no roe | 

Former gangster's moll Gemma Roe and boxer boyfriend lose out on lucrative homeless hub contract

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) had already been informed about Roe's majority share in the property when her ownership emerged during local opposition to the plans.

Gemma Roe and Luke Keeler bought a former nursing home to convert it into accommodation for the homeless

Gemma Roe with former partner Paul Kavanagh, who was shot dead (above) in 2015

Nicola Tallant

FORMER gangster's moll Gemma Roe and her boxer boyfriend Luke Keeler's plans to cash in on Government funding by opening a homeless hub have been derailed after her past was uncovered.

Gemma is the ex-partner of gangland murder victim Paul Kavanagh and previously hit the headlines after €20k in cash was confiscated from her by the Revenue Commissioners.

Despite this, a large home in South Dublin owned by the glamorous ex-hairdresser had been set to be used to house a State-funded homeless facility.

However, Roe has now decided to sell the house after objections were raised by local campaigners.

Now the Peter McVerry Trust says it wants anti-money laundering documentation and undertakings from a solicitor about the sale before it enters negotiations to run the 13-bed unit in the heart of a middle-class housing estate in south Dublin.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) had already been informed about Roe's majority share in the property when her ownership emerged during local opposition to the plans.

Now, the use of the premises is back on the table and South Dublin County Council (SDCC) has been told there is a new owner and the property is sale agreed with Roe and Keeler.

The couple bought the former nursing home at Cappaghmore in Clondalkin less than two years ago and approval was granted, under their ownership, by a Government department for it to be leased and run as a State homeless facility.

Gemma Roe with former partner Paul Kavanagh, who was shot dead (above) in 2015

The value of the property is unknown as it never went for public sale, while land registry documents still list the couple as the current owners and there is no detail of the latest sale on the property index.

However, a four-bed in the same estate is currently guiding at almost €400,000 for potential buyers.

Keeler, a boxer with the collapsed MTK Global stable, has no involvement with crime but Roe was nabbed carrying dirty money to Spain in her handbag and a court was told she had a long-term association with drug dealers.

Roe's former partner Paul Kavanagh was assassinated when a Kinahan Cartel hitman gunned him down in Dublin in 2015, six months after his brother Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh was murdered by the mob in Spain.

Within years of his death, Roe began dating boxer Luke Keeler, who signed up to MTK in 2017 and remained at the company until it folded following US sanctions and $5 million bounties on its founder Daniel Kinahan, his brother Christopher Jnr and father Christopher Snr.

Keeler was previously a construction worker and in the past two years has established a number of companies involved in property development.

In July 2020, his newly established company Eria Curam Limited submitted a proposal to South Dublin County Council (SDCC) to turn a nursing home in Clondalkin into a homeless facility.

His sister Cheryl Kavanagh, the company secretary and a school guidance teacher, made the application and cited herself as 'owner' of the large premises at Cappaghmore.

She said her work in schools in Ballyfermot where she saw people living on the margins was her motivation to establish and run the homeless hub.

When local opposition to the plan grew, it emerged that Kavanagh wasn't the owner of the premises - and Gemma Roe was.

The property was bought in July 2020 at the same time the Eria Curam proposal went into SDCC saying the newly established company had "extensive experience with our most marginalised within society".

The property, she said, could house 13 families in individual units with en-suite bathrooms, and any other refurbishments required could be made.

Luke Keeler with Tyson Fury

But the plans ran aground after local residents and councillors objected. Now the same property is back at the centre of fresh talks involving taxpayers' money, a homeless charity and South Dublin County Council.

Roe had a long association with drug dealers and organised crime.

In 2010, money discovered in her handbag and suitcase as she attempted to take a flight to Malaga was forfeited to the State.

A court heard she had been stopped by customs officials after a sniffer dog alerted officers and her bag was searched.

Wads of money totalling €10,000 was discovered in her handbag and when her suitcase was searched a further €10k was found in it. The court heard that Roe had told customs officers that she needed the money for a tummy tuck but that she didn't know the name of her surgeon.

When the case came to court gardai gave evidence of her association with drug dealers and Judge Desmond Hogan said he believed that the money was the proceeds of crime and ordered it be handed over to the State.

In 2015, Roe's then partner Paul Kavanagh, the father of her two children, was shot dead outside their home on Church Avenue in Drumcondra. Roe was chief mourner at the funeral but within years had hooked up with Keeler, a former construction worker turned professional boxer who trained under Pete Taylor.

Keeler has a number of companies, the most recent being Pembrokshire Capital which was established last month as a property development firm.

In her lengthy proposal, Cheryl Kavanagh described how she had been exposed to high levels of unemployment among her student population and believed more supportive living conditions needed to be offered in the South Dublin region.

Sources say that both the Peter McVerry Trust and SDCC pulled out of the negotiations after they were alerted to Gemma Roe's interest in the property and the links to the Kinahan organised crime group.

However, both the charity and the council are now back at the table after they were informed the properties have been sold and that the new owner wants to pursue the same proposal.

A spokesman for SDCC said last night: "We have been told the property sale has happened and we await full evidence of that. We will carry out full due diligence on this proposal and the ownership of the property."

A spokesperson for the Peter McVerry Trust said: "Around 18 months ago South Dublin County Council asked Peter McVerry Trust to view a building in Clondalkin that could potentially provide accommodation for homeless families.

"It became apparent to us that there were concerns locally as to who the beneficial owners were and we stepped away from the project.

"Earlier this year the property re-emerged under new ownership. The new owners have previously provided properties to local authorities for homeless accommodation.

"At this juncture South Dublin County Council sought Peter McVerry Trust's involvement in reviewing the property again for the purposes of emergency accommodation for homeless families.

"We do not have possession of, or lease on, the property. The engagement with the current property owner is at a very early stage."

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