Irish Taxpayers Pay Big Money to keep the Cartel Footsoldiers Behind Bars? A long Road Ahead? And many more to go before the Irish Courts?

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Kinahan cartel’s 50 prisoners costing taxpayer up to €4 million a year behind bars

In 2019, the average cost of keeping a killer, rapist, robber or gunman behind bars was some €75,349, but that price has now gone up to at least €79,000 a year

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  • 06:30, 3 JUN 2021
  • Updated08:23, 3 JUN 2021

Freddie Thompson (left) and Thomas Fox (right)
Freddie Thompson (left) and Thomas Fox (right)

Taxpayers are forking out up to €4 million a year to keep dozens of Kinahan cartel gangsters locked up, it has emerged.

A Star investigation has established that there are now at least 50 criminals linked to the Kinahan mob behind bars in Irish jails — and it costs more than €76,000 a year each to house them.

“People don’t realise it costs a fortune to keep a prisoner locked up — and there has been a huge explosion in the number of inmates who are connected to the Kinahans in the last few years,” a source said.

“The guards have done a great job locking them all up, but that means there is also a cost associated with their detention.”

Sources told The Star that the cost of keeping an inmate behind bars — which includes everything from feeding them to ensuring staffing levels and even fitting out their cells — has increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, the average cost of keeping a killer, rapist, robber or gunman behind bars was some €75,349, but that price has now gone up to at least €79,000 a year because of extra spending caused by the pandemic, as well as a reduction in the overall number of inmates — which in turn raises the average cost per prisoner to the State.

But sources also last night told The Star that the €79,000 figure was just an average — and some Kinahan lags are even more expensive to guard.

That was a reference to approximately 10 members of the cartel led by Dubai-based mobster Daniel Kinahan who are now locked up in the top security Portlaoise Prison in Co Laois.

The average cost of a prisoner there is at least €97,000 — because of its higher security and the smaller prisoner headcount.

“Portlaoise has always been more expensive than the rest of the prison estate,” a source said.

Key cartel members locked up in Portlaoise Prison’s A Block include ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson, 41.

The former close ally of Kinahan is serving a life sentence handed down in 2018 after he was convicted of the July 2016 murder of former republican prisoner Daithi Douglas.

Mr Douglas, 55, was shot dead at his wife’s shop in south central Dublin as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud — a war that has now left 18 men dead.

Another man serving life in Portlaoise is Eamonn Cumberton, 33, jailed over the April 2016 murder of Mickey Barr in the Sunset House pub in Dublin.

Most of the other Kinahan inmates are held in the C and D wings of Dublin’s Mountjoy jail.

Jonathan Keogh, 34, and pal Thomas Fox, 34, are in Mountjoy — for the May 2016 murder of Gareth Hutch in the city centre.

Brothers Gary, 35, and Glenn, 25, Thompson are both serving 12 years and six months for their part in a plot to murder Patsy Hutch — a brother of top Kinahan target Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Another key man behind bars there is Declan Brady, 55, serving a 10-year sentence for firearms offences. He was a major player in Kinahan’s drugs importation gang and had such a low profile that gardai nicknamed him ‘Mr Nobody’

Liam Branigan, 38, is serving eight years over a plot to kill Hutch associate Gary Hanley in central Dublin in November 2017.

But others are in for smaller jail terms, including Martin Aylmer, 33, jailed for four years and six months for helping the Kinahans murder republican Mickey Barr.

And Jonathan Keogh’s sister Regina, 42, is locked up in Dublin’s Dochas female prison after she was also convicted of the murder of Gareth Hutch.

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