Nearly €50,000 found at home of ‘trusted confidante’ of crime boss Christie Keane, court hears

A non-jury court has heard that cash totaling approximately €50,000 was hidden at the home of a “trusted confidant” of Limerick crime boss Christy Keane.

During the bail hearing it was alleged that Killalee, Dermot McManus (51) of Keating Park in Limerick, was an accomplice of the Keene crime gang, described as one of Ireland’s “most vicious and brutal” gangs. went.

The accused is charged with handling cash amounts of €28,550 and £17,240 (€20,671), knowing or believing or being negligent whether it was proceeds of criminal conduct on June 17, 2020, and of an account in Limerick. and the District Credit Union is to be used for the purposes of handling the proceeds of the offense on the same date.

He is also charged with possessing a stolen blue Ford Transit van with registration 161-L 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.

Mr McManus was remanded into custody, agreeing to bail despite Garda’s objections, during which the Special Criminal Court heard that cash was found “hidden” in socks and jackets inside his bedroom.

John Sheehan, the date GDA of Henry Street Garda station, objected to the bail, citing fears that the accused would commit further serious crimes and that he was a flight risk.

She told Fiona Murphy SC at trial this morning that the accused is a close associate of Christie Keane, who was described as the leader of the Keane Organized Crime Group (OCG) in Limerick.

Det Gda Sheahan said Keane OCG is involved in the distribution of drugs and firearms at both national and international levels.

The detective said the gang was traditionally based in St. Mary’s Park but is now located in the Garryowen area of ​​the city.

The court heard that the gang was once associated with members of the Kolopi gang, but are now separate entities, although there was no dispute between them.

Three judges were told that the gang had been involved in a dispute with the McCarthy/Dunden crime group from 2000, with incidents related to the feud dating back to 1993.

The offenses related to the feud included 19 murders, 15 attempt to murder, 38 firearm seizures, 35 explosives recovered as well as more than 2,000 ammunition seized, the court heard.

The detective also described the accused as a “trusted confidante” of Christie Keane.

Mr McManus’ arrest, the court heard, stemmed from an investigation called Operation Coronation that involved 170 guards from both local and national units.

More than 60 premises were searched in June 2020 by Keane OCG as part of an investigation into the accumulation of funds, including several suspicious cash transactions.

The detective said he had no doubt that the accused Keane was a trusted accomplice of the OCG, which he described as “one of the most vicious and brutal crime groups”. State “which uses many persons to do its bidding.

Date GDA Sheehan said that at the time of the arrest the accused asked a family member to call Christy Keane and inform her of his arrest.

The detective said he was concerned that the accused would engage in money laundering if granted bail, and took the flight risk.

He said Mr McManus had family ties to the UK and during a search of his property in June 2020 a cocaine press was also found behind his property.

He agreed with Patrick Bariskell B.L., defending that Mr. McManus has not been charged in connection with the possession of the cocaine press.

Det Gda Sheahan disagreed with Mr Barriskell when he told him that his client’s concern about further crime was “no more than anticipated”.

The defense counsel also stated that his client was not charged with the serious offenses mentioned in the bail hearing and that the fact that other persons had committed or committed such offenses had “nothing to do with Mr. McManus”. ” Was.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, observed that the strongest element of the objection was an insult to the future based on the Union’s evidence.

He said that, though it cannot be ignored, it can be considered in the context of admissible evidence in respect of an objection.

The three judges granted bail on strict conditions, including a €10,000 free bail, a daily sign at the local Garda station, and a curfew to be observed.

Ms Murphy also asked that a condition of the bail be that Dermot McManus is not affiliated with the six named men, including Christy Keane.

The accused was remanded in custody with consent to bail, for the grant of an independent bail, till February 18 to serve the book of evidence.

He first appeared in non-jury court last week when he and his partner, Teresi Halpin, 49, were charged.

Ms Halpin is accused of holding the same cash amount on June 17 last year and allowing her to use a permanent TSB account to handle the proceeds of crime between January 17, 2019 and June 10, 2020. He was granted bail.