Veteran Dublin gangster Dean Russell faces prison if he doesn’t hand over home to CAB
Russell – who has been linked to mob feuds in Coolock and north inner-city Dublin – has been the target of two assassination attempts
25th July 2022
Veteran gangster Dean Russell is facing prison if he doesn’t hand over his home to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) tomorrow after a decade-long legal battle.
He lost an appeal in 2020 to overturn a €400,000 CAB judgement against him and was since refused permission to bring his case to the Supreme Court.
A convicted robber, Russell – who has been linked to mob feuds in Coolock and north inner-city Dublin – has been the target of two assassination attempts and his brother Anthony Russell was murdered in a gangland hit in 2008 .
This week, CAB asked for an order for the house to be turned over to the Bureau and said he was still occupying the property in north Dublin as of May this year.
Counsel for the agency said he had confirmed he would leave in June and then changed that to October 1 this year.
Judge Alex Owens said he would order the committal of Russell to prison for contempt of court but put a stay on the order until tomorrow morning to allow him to appear before him.
Russell was not in court to hear the ruling and had informed CAB that he would not be making an appearance last Thursday.
During his appeal case – which focused on his Clonshaugh house, originally bought in 1995 for €53,000 – Russell said it was still the home for his family, including four adults.
The case was first entered into the courts in 2011 and in 2014 a senior CAB officer told the High Court that Russell had 12 previous convictions, including one relating to a post office robbery in 1991.
The original case also included an apartment in Santry, Dublin and another apartment in Malaga, Spain.
Russell associated with known criminals and was involved in gangland feuds in Coolock and the north inner city, the CAB officer said
- Six years ago, CAB said 61% of some €356,000 lodged to his various accounts came from unknown sources.
- Cash payments were made to his credit card, including IR£13,500 in 1998 and €10,000 in 2009, from an unidentified source. No credible evidence was provided in relation to his window cleaning, taxi or furniture businesses he claimed to have run.
- There were also unexplained purchases of two horses and maintenance payments to his former partner for an amount that would have equated to his declared income at the time.
He claimed he paid the mortgage on his home in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, from the proceeds of his own labour.
He denied he was a “major criminal” and said he worked all his life, including cleaning windows, selling furniture and running a taxi business.
The court ruling in favour of CAB said Russell had access to “very significant amounts of funds… quite in excess of any funds generated by legitimate activities he was involved in”.
Dean Russell’s life was saved by armed gardaí in May 2015, when major criminals Paul Zambra and Anthony ‘The Giant’ Callaghan were caught on their way to kill him.
Russell’s slain brother, Anthony was a close associate of paedophile gang boss Christy Griffin and was heavily involved in the deadly north inner-city feud.
Speaking to the Sunday World the day after the murder bid, Russell denied he was the target of the heavily -armed duo.
“If they wanted to kill me, there are easier ways to do it,” Russell said.
“I’m adamant it was nothing to do with me, unless it’s something I don’t know about and I normally have a good idea.”
“I don’t have dealings with criminals. I keep a close set of friends, I don’t have any enemies. I’m not involved in feuding, I don’t owe any money, I don’t know Zambra or Callaghan. I don’t even know what they look like.”
Russell said that people have an impression he’s a “multi-millionaire gangster”, but that isn’t the case.
“The houses are all repossessed, other than the family home I’m living in for 20 years. I have had dealings with CAB, but that’s over stuff going back years.”
Gardaí previously foiled another hit attempt on Russell’s life in January 2009.
Officers spotted Gerard Byrne and Paul Beatty in a stolen Audi A5 and subsequently found a Magnum revolver, two petrol cans and latex gloves in the car.
Beatty later told a prison officer he had been on a “mission” to “whack” someone.
Byrne was previously questioned by gardaí over the murder of Gavin McCarthy (22) who was shot dead on Sheriff Street in October 2008.
Despite officers saving his life, Russell went on Joe Duffy’s Liveline in 2018 to complain about what he saw as a heavy-handed Garda bid to arrest him at his home at 4am.