Kinahan criminal’s cell searched over murder trial witness tampering
An illegal mobile phone, a charger and notebooks were seized in a jail cell search by detectives investigating the intimidation of prosecution witnesses in the Garda Adrian Donohoe murder trial.
The target of the cell raid was notorious north inner city criminal Glen Holland (36), who is aligned to the Kinahan cartel.
Officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) were backed up by the jail’s Operational Support Group (OSG) in Mountjoy Prison in the search operation early last Friday morning.
“Evidence was seized and this may prove to be useful in the ongoing witness intimidation investigation,” a senior source told the Herald.
“The phone and the notepads will now be analysed and there are plans for more targeted searches in the weeks ahead,” the source added.
Aaron Brady (29) will be sentenced to the mandatory term of 40 years in jail for capital murder at the Central Criminal Court on October 14.
He was convicted after a lengthy trial which was blighted with witness intimidation.
Even before the trial ended, the NBCI had begun a detailed probe into the intimidation.
In mid-July, detectives searched the Mountjoy cell of Dean Byrne (25), a violent north Dublin criminal with over 120 convictions who is currently serving a lengthy sentence for aggravated burglary.
No mobile phone was located during the operation, but a piece of paper with several phone numbers scrawled on it was seized.
Gardaí are investigating if intimidation of certain witnesses was “outsourced”.
Properties linked to Traveller criminals in Finglas, Blanchardstown, Balbriggan and Coolock were also searched.
There have been no arrests so far in the investigation.
The latest target, Glen Holland, is serving a six and-a-half year sentence after pleading guilty to possessing two loaded handguns as well as almost €70,000 worth of cocaine in September 2010.
He was previously arrested by detectives investigating the murder of Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne in April of that year and spent over six years on the run in the UK and Spain before being arrested in Spain in August 2017, on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.
Last Friday was the fourth time that Holland was caught with an illegal mobile phone while serving his sentence in Mountjoy Prison.
In January last year, Holland was given a two-month suspended jail term after Dublin District Court heard he used an illegal mobile phone to call home as he did not want to upset his young son.
Holland, of Rory O’Connor House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a phone at Mountjoy on October 17 and November 9, 2018.
He also admitted causing criminal damage worth €121 to his cell when the first phone was found. In the second incident, prison officers also found a charger and SIM card, the court was told.
Holland has 21 previous convictions for offences including having a phone in prison, for which he was given a consecutive two months in prison in September 2018.
Although he has never been charged with the murder of ‘The Don’, his drugs and firearms conviction was a direct result of a garda investigation into the fatal shooting.
He was arrested in Spain during a top-secret operation when armed police forces raided his hotel room in Tarragona, a port city on the Costa Dorada.
While on the run, Holland also surfaced in the Kent area of England and by October 2014, he became one of the most wanted men in the UK.
He was known to English police as Darren Byrne, and they only realised his true identity after he fled that jurisdiction.
The north-inner city thug is also a very close associate of cartel mobster Barry Finnegan (37), and the two grew up in the same flat complex.