Alan Wilson, who was named in court as a member of the Kinahan crime gang, has been jailed for 10 years for his role in a plot to murder three men outside the Player's Lounge pub in 2010.
Ms Justice Tara Burns at the Special Criminal Court on Wednesday said Wilson, who has twice pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder, was involved in a "highly sophisticated, meticulously planned attack on a Sunday in July in front of a large group of civilians out socialising."
She said the attack had left two of the three victims with lifelong injuries including brain damage to one of them, leaving him forever reliant on the daily support of his family. She also noted that none of the three victims were the intended targets of the shooting.
Wilson (42), with a last address at New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to murder persons unknown on July 26th, 2010, contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.
He also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Firearms Act of possession of a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver and a .32 calibre Zastava semi-automatic pistol on dates between July 24th and July 26th, 2010, in circumstances that give rise to the reasonable inference that he possessed them for an unlawful purpose.
Ms Justice Burns imposed a sentence of 10 years' imprisonment for the firearms possession charge and seven and a half years' imprisonment for conspiracy to murder. She refused to backdate the sentences, which are to run concurrently from Wednesday's date. Ms Justice Burns also refused to suspend any portion of the sentence.
Wilson had pleaded not guilty to the attempted murders of Brian Masterson, Wayne Barrett and Austin Purcell at The Player's Lounge Public House, Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3 on July 26th, 2010. Those attempted murder charges have now been officially dropped after the Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi.
In 2014 Wilson was found not guilty of the murder of teenager Marioara Rostas. The 18-year-old had been shot four times in the head before her body was buried in a shallow grave where it was discovered four years later, in 2012.
Wilson had pleaded not guilty to her murder at Brabazon St, The Coombe, Dublin between January 7th and January 8th, 2008.
Before the court passed sentence on Wednesday, Wilson's lawyer Padraig Dwyer SC told the Special Criminal Court that, with regards to his client, the Marioara Rostas accusation "caused a lot of suffering in his life" and had caused Wilson and his family "particular harm" leading to "hardship due to the portrayal of Mr Wilson in the public eye over a lengthy period of time."
Counsel added: "He has also asked me to stress that he is not, although he has been portrayed as, he was not, is not and never was a member of any gang, in particular the Kinahan gang, although he accepts the gardai had suspicions in relation to that."
Kinahan crime gang
During his trial, retired former head of the National Surveillance Unit William Johnson said he believed in 2017 that Wilson was a member of the Kinahan crime gang.
Continuing his plea in mitigation, Mr Dwyer said his client is taking treatment for a nerve condition and seizures, he has remorse for getting involved in the murder conspiracy and "when he does complete his sentence he wants to lead an honest life."
Mr Dwyer added: "He would assert that now he is a different person, at a different stage in his life, and keeps busy by writing a book and poetry and letters to the authorities about some of the cases which took place in the past."
Counsel said Wilson had five children, one of whom passed away, and he has a close relationship with the remaining four, aged between 11 and 17.
He asked the court to consider backdating Wilson's sentence and to suspend a portion of it to "offer an inducement to rehabilitation while in prison and it would also offer him some home and some hope for his family that they would be able to reunite with him at some point in the future."
Counsel also pointed out that his client pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge as soon as it was offered by the Director of Public Prosecution and therefore he should get the benefit of an early guilty plea. Those who enter early guilty pleas can get a reduction of 25 per cent from the headline sentence, Mr Dwyer said.
Mr Dwyer said Wilson has written a letter in which he says he was contacted by a faction involved in republican feuds and assisted them by sourcing cars and two guns. Mr Dwyer said his client "accepts that was wrong and has written to the court apologising for wrongdoing."
Mr Dwyer said that a recording of Wilson in 2017 allegedly claiming that he had carried out the shooting at the Player's Lounge was "bravado".
He said: "He was bigging himself up in the company of those with him on the day." During the trial it emerged that the National Surveillance Unit had planted listening devices in two cars that Wilson was known to be using as he planned with others the murder of Gary Hanley. In those recordings he was allegedly heard admitting to the attempted murders at the Player's Lounge in 2010.
In 2019 Wilson pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15th and November 6th, 2017. He was jailed for six years by the Special Criminal Court and was due for release from that sentence in May next year.