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Man who helped Kinahan Organised Crime Group jailed

A 42-year-old man who helped the Kinahan Organised Crime Group by buying a mobile top-up for a leading member of the international crime gang has been jailed for two years.

Michael Crotty from Slí Aonghusa, Aras na Rí, Cashel, Co Tipperary admitted that he was reckless when he bought the €20 top-up for Sean McGovern, one of the leaders of the organised crime group and currently based in Dubai.

The phone was used to coordinate the murder of Noel Kirwan who was targeted by the Kinahan cartel because they mistakenly believed he was linked to the Hutch gang.

Noel Kirwan was shot dead as he sat in his car in the driveway of his home at St Ronan’s Drive in Clondalkin three days before Christmas 2016.

Noel Kirwan was shot dead in December 2016

He had been photographed with Gerard Hutch at the funeral of Hutch’s brother Edward who was also shot dead by the Kinahan Organised Crime Group in 2016.

A tracker device had been placed on Mr Kirwan’s car which was monitored from an apartment in the Beacon South Quarter.

Ms Justice Caroline Biggs accepted that while Crotty was reckless as to whether the top-up would be used in the commission of a crime, there was no evidence he knew it would be used in a murder.

However, she said the fact it was used in a murder is an aggravating feature as is the evidence from a senior garda that the Kinahan organisation is an international criminal gang involved in murder, the importation and distribution of drugs, and other crimes.

She set a headline sentence of six years but reduced that to two years after considering mitigating circumstances including Crotty’s guilty plea and lack of previous convictions.

She said Crotty has never been on the garda radar before or since and is a highly regarded employer in his Tipperary community where he runs a successful gym.

He is the fourth person to be jailed for offences related to Mr Kirwan’s murder and gardaí say they are pursuing further lines of inquiry.

Another man, Declan Brady who is known as Mr Nobody and was a senior figure in the Kinahan gang, also pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced next month.

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