A man has pleaded guilty to directing the activities of a criminal organisation in connection with the attempted murder of Kinahan Cartel target James 'Mago' Gately.
Peter Keating (40) of Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court this afternoon to directing the activities of a criminal organisation between December 7th, 2016, and April 4th, 2017, inclusive, within and without the State under Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Mr Gately was shot multiple times as he sat in his car at the Topaz filling station on the Clonashaugh Road, Dublin 17, on May 10th, 2017. The Special Criminal Court heard last week that the criminals who attempted to murder Mr Gately believed he was involved in the attack at the Regency Hotel in February 2016, in which Kinahan gang member David Byrne was shot dead.
In February of this year, Caolan Smyth (29) of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, was sentenced to 20 years for the attempted murder of Mr Gately and for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Smyth had denied both charges.
Not guilty plea
Gary McAreavey (53) of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to acting to 'impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle, a black Lexus, used in the attempted murder at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth on the same day.
McAreavey received a four-year jail term with the final year suspended.
The attack marked the second attempt to murder Mr Gately, with former Estonian separatist Imre Arakas having been intercepted by gardai before he could carry out a contract on the victim's life the month beforehand.
Arakas (62) was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years in December 2018, after he admitted to conspiring with others to murder James Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3rd and 4th, 2017.
Mr Gately, who was warned by gardaí of a threat to his life and wore a bullet-proof vest, survived the shooting after sustaining injuries to his upper chest and neck.
In April of this year, David Duffy (33) of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty to having knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation and participating in or contributing to activities connected with the said offence, namely the murder of James Gately, with the intention of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation or any of its members to commit the serious offence, within the State between December 7th, 2016 and April 6th, 2017, both dates inclusive.
Duffy is to be sentenced in July.
At a sitting of the non-jury court in July last year Keating was also charged that he, between December 7th, 2016, and April 6th, 2017, both dates inclusive, within the State, with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation, and with the intention of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation, or any of its members, to commit a crime or a serious offence, namely the murder of James Gately, participated in or contributed to activities connected with the said offence.
Today, Keating's barrister, Hugh Hartnett SC, said that his client had entered a "very early" plea in the case but Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, said that while it was early, a trial date still had to be vacated.
A governor's report was sought by Mr Hartnett from Portlaoise Prison and Mr Justice Hunt adjourned the matter to July 26.