GAA volunteer fraudulently applied for passport in own name, later used by cartel boss Daniel Kinahan
• 40m ago
A Gaa volunteer fraudulently applied for a passport in his own name which was later used by the leader of the Kinahan cartel, a court has heard.
Seamus Walsh (43) will be sentenced later this year after admitting to selling his passport for €2,000 while “off his head on drugs”.
Dundalk circuit court today heard that the defendant was “in the throes of heroin addiction” when he sold the document after receiving it in 2011.
Evidence was given that the passport was later used by ‘senior crime figure’ Daniel Kinahan and was only cancelled six years later.
Kinahan has been described as running the day-to-day operations of the organised criminal gang and the US Government have offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Walsh, of Mountain View Crescent in Dundalk, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to selling an Irish passport to an unknown person after December 5, 2011.
The offence is contrary to the Passport Act 2008 and carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
Det Gda Feilim McKenna, of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, gave evidence of the garda inquiry.
He said a complaint was made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) about a passport application from Seamus Walsh.
The passport had been dispatched to his address on December 6, 2011.
Det Gda McKenna said documents submitted with the passport application, including a drivers licence and bank statements, were false.
He also said the photograph did not match the public service card belonging to Mr Walsh.
The detective said the photo belonged to Daniel Joseph Kinahan who he described as a “senior figure in organised crime”.
He added that the passport had been used for travel but said that he could not comment any further at this time.
An internal investigation took place, and the passport was revoked on October 24, 2017.
In August 2018 the accused was interviewed under caution about the passport.
He initially claimed not to remember applying for the passport but later made full admissions.
Seamus Walsh confirmed that the drivers licence used for the application contained his name and date of birth but told gardaí it wasn’t his picture or signature.
He told gardaí he was “off his head on drugs” at the time, specifically heroin, which escalated after the death of his father.
Walsh also told gardaí he was paid €2,000 for the passport by a person he described as a “male Traveller”.
He also said: “That traveller was in and out of the house every day selling drugs. I was in the house every day. I’m nearly sure I posted it”.
The court was told there is no connection between Walsh and Kinahan or organised crime.
Defence barrister Ronan O’Carroll said that his client is currently the sole carer for his ill mother, who used a wheelchair and has multiple medical issues.
He stated that his client has been off heroin for around six years and is a community volunteer who trains a juvenile team in his local Gaa club each Sunday.
Counsel submitted the offending occurred when Seamus Walsh was in “the throes of a heroin addiction” and at the worst time of his life.
Mr O’Carroll asked the court not to look upon the “ultimate destination” of the passport as an aggravating factor and said that the offending occurred 12 years ago.
Judge Dara Hayes remarked that, not withstanding the recipient of the passport, it was a serious offence carried out in a manner which can only be used for a criminal purpose.
He said that he wanted up to date medical reports relating to the accused’s mother as well as urine analysis for Walsh.
The matter was adjourned to April 25 for sentencing.