‘The Coach’ Traynor, took a lot of Secrets to his Grave???

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Notorious criminal John ‘The Coach’ Traynor dies in England

28th October 2021

John Gilligan’s former partner in crime, John ‘The Coach’ Traynor has died in England.

The notorious 73-year-old convicted fraudster turned drug trafficker was a key player in organized crime for over forty years.

He passed away on Sunday in Kent where he had been living for several years.

Traynor had been receiving palliative care in a hospice after being diagnosed with terminal cancer some time ago.

Sources close to Traynor say that he will not be returned to Ireland for burial and will be cremated in the UK instead

He is survived by his partner of several years, and four grown children.

Traynor, who had continued his involvement in the drug trade, lived in the UK for many years where he operated a used car business, after escaping charges connected to the murder of Veronica Guerin or Gilligan’s drug empire.

Described by veteran gardai as “extremely clever, manipulative and duplicitous”, the notorious gangster was a lifelong friend of Gilligan since the pair worked together as seamen for the now defunct B&I shipping line in the 1960s.

Traynor went on to help Gilligan  to establish one of the most successful drug trafficking operations in the history of Irish crime.

Dubbed the ‘Coach’ by Veronica Guerin, Traynor had been one of the journalist’s main underworld sources who, at the time of her murder in 1996, was seeking a High Court injunction to stop her publishing a story about his involvement in the drug trade.

Traynor was a vital cog in the criminal organisation run by his other friend from childhood, Martin Cahill, the General.

Traynor acted as Cahill’s adviser – what is referred to in mafia parlance as a ‘consiglieri’ – and helped mastermind and organise several of the General’s most spectacular crimes during the 1980s.

The crimes included the robbery of diamonds, gems and gold from O’Connors jewellery factory in Dublin in 1983. The haul, worth over €3.5m in today’s values, was the biggest heist in the history of the State at that time.

The robbery let to the brink of an all-out war between Cahill’s mob and the IRA, who had demanded a share of the loot.

Traynor also played a pivotal role with Cahill in organising the theft of the priceless Beit art collection three years later – one of the biggest art heists in the world.

The Coach fled Ireland within days of the murder of Veronica Guerin and never returned.

He later admitted to this writer that he had been privy to Gilligan’s plan to have the journalist murdered.

Many veteran detectives and criminals have described Traynor as an extremely clever criminal which was borne out by the fact that he didn’t perish at the end of an assassin’s gun – or serving a long prison stretch.

One retired garda who had investigated Traynor many times said this afternoon that the manner of his passing was down to the Coach’s sharp survival instincts.

“He was a very clever and cunning gangster who played the game on both sides of the tracks – he was an informant and arch manipulator,” the former garda said.

“Traynor came very close to being shot on many occasions over the years and it is probably testament to his conniving nature that he died of natural causes.

“Traynor literally got away with murder. His legacy will be that he played a pivotal role in the evolution of organised crime in this country, particularly the drug trade.

“Gilligan would never have become as powerful and wealthy as he did if it wasn’t for Traynor. He died with the blood of many men and a journalist on his hands.”

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