Fingerprint on tape in bag of money, trial told


GARDAÍ FOUND a fingerprint belonging to one of two men accused of money laundering on a piece of black tape stuck to the bottom of a Dunnes Stores bag filled with sterling, a court was told yesterday.

Det Garda Gerry McGrath of the Garda Technical Bureau related how he had examined a number of items removed from the basement of Ted Cunningham’s house in Farran in Co Cork following a Garda search of the building on February 16th and 17th, 2005.

Det Garda McGrath told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that he found a fingerprint from Timothy Cunningham’s right ring finger on the tape at the bottom of the bag containing the sterling.

Det Garda McGrath also said he found fingerprints belonging to Timothy Cunningham on a box of marigold gloves and another Dunnes Stores carrier bag found in the basement, while he found a fingerprint belonging to Ted Cunningham on another plastic bag.

Det Garda McGrath was giving evidence on the seventh day of the trial of Timothy Cunningham (33) and his father, Ted Cunningham (60) on charges of laundering over £3 million (€3.25 million) taken in the Northern Bank raid on December 20th, 2004.

Ted Cunningham, of Woodbine Lodge, Farran, Co Cork, denies 20 charges of money laundering, while Timothy Cunningham, of Church View, Farran, denies four charges of money laundering, all between December 20th, 2004, and February 16th, 2005.

Among the charges they both face is one of possessing £3,010,380 at Farran between December 20th, 2004 and February 16th, 2005, knowing or believing it to be the proceeds of robbery at the Northern Bank Cash Centre, Donegall Square West, Belfast.

Yesterday, Judge Con Murphy and the jury of seven men and five women heard evidence from Det Garda John Lynch of how he recovered a red and black holdall bag from Ted Cunningham’s Mercedes after Mr Cunningham consented to it being searched.

The items included a blue diary, a receipt for sterling dated February 17th, 2004, and referring to €140,000, an Ulster Bank lodgement slip, three ACC bank cheque-books, one Bank of Ireland cheque-book and a black filofax with entries on financial dealings.

Det Garda Lynch said he also found a receipt from the Ardboyne Hotel in Co Meath and accounts for the Tullybeg nursing home in Co Offaly in the holdall removed from Mr Cunningham’s car.

Opening the State’s case last week, prosecuting counsel Tom O’Connell SC said the State would say Ted Cunningham met a man driving a Northern-registered car at the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on January 21st, 2005, and that the man gave him £1.3 million.

The State would say the transaction was one of four involving Ted Cunningham and the same unidentified man, and that he had met the same man at the Clonmore Hotel in Tullamore, Co Offaly on January 18th, 2005, when the man gave him £1.25 million.

The State would present evidence that Ted Cunningham met the man at Tullybeg Nursing Home at Rahan, Co Offaly on January 27th, 2005 when he received £1 million, and on February 9th when he received a further £1.5 million from the same man.

Yesterday Judge Con Murphy told the jury there were some legal issues which both sides needed to discuss. They would not be required until next Tuesday, when evidence is expected to resume.