Man accused of laundering to crime gang will get bail if given ‘valid’ €10k bail

A man accused of money laundering for the Limerick crime gang will be granted bail by the Special Criminal Court, despite Gardai’s objections, if a “legitimate” person can come up with a bail of €10,000 for him.

In a three-judge court on Tuesday, Gardai objected to the bail of Limerick man Dermot McManus, who is charged with felony handling of nearly €50,000 in cash, possessing a stolen vehicle and handling another vehicle.

Mr McManus (51) and co-accused Teresi Halpin (49) were both indicted last week after Gardai executed a warrant at his home address in Limerick, Keating Park, Killali.

Gardai described the arrests as part of ‘Operation Coronation’ as a “significant development” in the ongoing investigation targeting the activities of an organized crime group based in Limerick.

Mr McManus has been charged with handling cash amounting to €28,550 and £17,240 (€20,600), knowing or believing or being negligent as to whether it was proceeds of criminal conduct on 17 June 2020, and of Limerick and District Allows an account in The credit union is to be used for the purposes of handling the proceeds of the delinquency on the same date.

Mr. McManus is charged with possessing a stolen blue Ford Transit van with a 161-L registration between August 10, 2019 and June 12, 2020; and with a white 151-c Mercedes sprinter handling between June 2, 2020 and May 23, 2021.

Ms Halpin is charged with holding the same amount of cash on 17 June 2020 and allowing a permanent TSB account to be used to handle proceeds of crime between 17 January 2019 and 10 June 2020.

Objecting to bail in non-jury court on Tuesday, Detective Garda John Sheehan told Fiona Murphy SC while prosecuting, that he believes Mr McManus is a flight risk with access to money and if bail If given, the accused will commit the offence. The detective said Mr McManus has family ties in England and travels there regularly.

Det Gda Sheahan said that after a search warrant for Keating Park was obtained in June 2020, €28,550 was found in socks on top of a wardrobe, while £17,240 in a jacket pocket. He added that Gardai also investigated “suspicious” financial transactions by Mr McManus at the credit union.

Regarding Ford Transit, the detective said Mr McManus sold the vehicle for €10,000, but it was never registered in Mr McManus’ name. Debt GDA Sheehan said Mr McManus told Gardai that he had bought a Mercedes Sprinter in Northern Ireland, but the accused’s only regular income was a disability payment and he had never filed a revenue return or paid income tax.

Defense barrister Pat Bariskell Beale said his client had 19 months between his first arrest and being charged and was neither absconding nor incensed during that time.

He said Mr McManus regularly traveled to England to see his brother, who is seriously ill, and added that his client was not at risk of flying.

Mr Barriskell said Mr McManus was a market trader who traded bed linens and had strong family ties to Limerick, which included his wife, two children and his immediate and extended family.

The barrister said a settlement of €35,000 in his client’s account, referred to by date GDA Sheehan, was the payment of a personal injury claim after Mr McManus was injured in a road traffic collision.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said he would grant bail if the “title figure” of €10,000 bail could be found from “a legitimate person”. The judge said concerns about both Mr McManus’ flight risk and the accused committing a crime while on bail could, in addition to the strict bail conditions, be met by the bailiff.

Mr Justice Hunt said that if bail could be found, Mr McManus had to sign daily at Limerick Garda station and not associate with persons named in court.

The judge remanded Mr McManus to custody with consent to bail and adjourned the case at liberty to re-enter the court for bail.

Ms Halpin was granted bail last week after she entered into a bond and undertakes to surrender her passport, provide Gardai with her phone number and sign at a local Garda station from Monday to Friday.

He is to appear again at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Friday 18 February at 10.30 am.