Man changes plea to guilty over role in foiled Kinahan murder plot

Douglas Glynn admits placing a tracker device on James ‘Mago’ Gately’s car in Belfast

A man has changed his plea to guilty just over a week after he went on trial accused of being involved in a Kinahan cartel plot to murder rival Hutch gang member James 'Mago' Gately.

At the Special Criminal Criminal Court, Douglas Glynn admitted to placing a tracker device on Gately's car in Belfast in 2017 as part of the foiled murder plot.

Gately had been warned by gardaí of a threat to his life from criminals who believed him to be involved in the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan cartel associate David Byrne in February 2016.

The court has heard in previous related cases that there was "ongoing targeting" of Gately in the context of a feud between the Hutch and Kinahan crime groups. Estonian hitman Imre Arakas was brought to Ireland in 2017 to carry out the murder of Gately before he was apprehended by gardaí­.

Det Sgt David Carolan had told the Special Criminal Court he was aware that Gately was involved "in a feud with the Kinahan organised crime group" and that Gately "had a wider association with the Hutch organised crime group". He said that Gately was "being targeted by the Kinahan organised crime group at the time".

Glynn (37) of Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1, was re-arraigned on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to participating in activities of a criminal organisation, contrary to Section 72 (1) (A) of the Criminal Justice Act. When first arraigned at the three-judge court on November 9th, Glynn had pleaded not guilty.

The specifics of the charge were that on dates between December 7th, 2016, and April 6th, 2017, inclusive, both within and outside the State and with knowledge of a criminal organisation and with the intent of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation or any of its members to commit a serious offence, namely the murder of James Gately, he did participate in or contribute to activities connected with the said offence.

Circumstantial

In his opening speech, Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, said that the evidence in the case against Glynn was of a “circumstantial” nature involving CCTV, photograph, mobile phone, tracking device, fingerprint and Garda observation evidence.

Mr McGinn said gardaí­ would tell the court that they were aware of a plot around the time of April 2017 but that they did not have precise knowledge of the target until the arrival of Arakas in Dublin on April 3rd, 2017.

Counsel said that gardaí­ were aware of Arakas' arrival on a flight from Alicante in Spain and tracked his movements. The barrister said that Arakas walked around Dublin city centre before being collected by a van and taken to Blakestown Cottages, Clonsilla, Dublin 15.

Gardaí­ obtained a search warrant for the Blakestown premises and found Arakas and Stephen Fowler (62) present, said counsel.

When gardaí ­ executed the warrant at Blakestown on April 4th, 2017, they found Arakas next to a note written in Estonian but with the words ‘James Gately, Dublin criminal’ written in English.

Mr McGinn said a tracker device had already been found in a van driven by another male when he was stopped by gardaí­ on February 28th 2017, and that evidence regarding trackers would “feature largely” in the case.

Mr McGinn said that it would be the State's case that gardaí ­ contacted the PSNI about the plot and that a tracker device was found on Gately's Toyota Avensis.

The barrister had said that CCTV would show Glynn place the device on Gately's car, which was parked in his Belfast apartment complex, before he and two other occupants of a Peugeot van drove back to Dublin.

Counsel said that evidence would show that five Blackberry devices were seized from Glynn's Ashtown residence.

Mr McGinn said that an inference could be drawn that one of the users of the Blackberry devices was involved in “ongoing” criminal activity.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned the case to January 14th, 2022, for a sentence hearing. The trial had been expected to last three weeks. There was no objection to Glynn continuing on bail.

Glynn is the fifth man to be found guilty in cases relating to the failed bid to murder Gately in Belfast.