Woman pleads guilty to having €600,000 in organised crime cash in Drogheda

Officers intercepted of vehicles and uncovered vacuum-packed notes, Special Criminal Court told

Dawson pleaded guilty to possessing property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct

Dawson pleaded guilty to possessing property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct

 

A 44-year-old woman has pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court on Wednesday to having more than €600,000 in organised crime cash.

Catherine Dawson had been arrested as part of an ongoing Garda investigation targeting serious organised criminals, where officers of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) intercepted a number of vehicles in Drogheda and uncovered hundreds of thousands of euro in vacuum-packed notes.

Arraigned on the two charges before the three-judge court on Wednesday, Dawson of Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co Meath pleaded guilty to both counts on the indictment.

Dawson pleaded guilty to possessing property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct, to wit, a blue Nike bag containing €289,770 and £65,025 (€70,207) in cash, while knowing that or believing that or being reckless as to whether or not the said property was the proceeds of criminal conduct at Spar, Donore Road, Drogheda, Co Louth on May 11th, 2020.

She also pleaded guilty to possessing property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct, to wit, a black bag containing €254,840 in cash, while knowing that or believing that or being reckless as to whether or not the said property was the proceeds of criminal conduct on the same occasion.

Caroline Biggs SC, representing Dawson, requested that a psychological report be prepared on behalf of her client and this was granted by the court. “She has no history of mental health issues but she has been on antidepressants as a consequence of these matters,” said Ms Biggs.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Flann Brennan, remanded Dawson on continuing bail until March 24, for a sentence hearing.

Dawson’s partner, Thomas Rooney (41), also of Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co Meath, was expected to be arraigned before the Special Criminal Court on Wednesday morning. However, defence counsel James Dwyer SC, for Mr Rooney, asked the three-judge panel to adjourn his client’s arraignment date for eight weeks as he [MR ROONEY]wanted to consider his position.

Garret Baker BL, on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said eight weeks seemed “somewhat excessive”.

Mr Justice Hunt remanded Mr Rooney on continuing bail until March 1st and said this was more than sufficient time for “decisions to be made”. “The maximum benefit of a plea comes from an early one,” he added.

Mr Rooney is also charged with possessing the proceeds of crime at a car park on Donore Road, Drogheda, Co Louth. It is alleged that he was in possession of €289,770 and £65,025 (€70,207) in cash in a blue holdall bag.

Mr Rooney is also charged with possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct, having €254,840 in cash in a black holdall bag on the same occasion.

He is further charged with possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct, having €7,650 in cash at North Road, Drogheda on May 11, 2020.

Mr Rooney and his partner were arrested on suspicion of enhancing the ability of an organised crime gang to commit a serious offence.