Notorious criminal Gerard Mackin, who was once the first person convicted of a Belfast murder by a Dublin court before his conviction was quashed and a retrial collapsed, has pleaded guilty before the Special Criminal Court to laundering thousands of euro in crime cash in Limerick four years ago.
Mackin (40), who was extradited from Alicante in Spain last December, pleaded guilty to laundering €4,780, allegedly the proceeds of criminal behaviour at Rhebogue Road, Limerick, on April 17th, 2019.
Mackin, who is originally from west Belfast and has a previous address at Rhebogue Road, pleaded guilty before the three-judge court to knowing or believing, or being reckless as to whether property, €4,780, was the proceeds of criminal conduct, did handle, acquire and/or possess the said property contrary to Section 7 of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act of 2010.
Mackin spoke only to confirm his name and answer “guilty” when the sole charge was put to him by the registrar at the non-jury court on Monday.
Detective Garda Stephen Ahern previously told the court that he arrested Mackin at Dublin Airport on December 5th last year in relation to a European Arrest Warrant issued on April 7th, 2022.
Ronan Kennedy SC, defending, requested that a governor’s report from Portlaoise Prison be prepared for his client which was granted.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Alan Mitchell, adjourned the matter to March 30th for sentence.
Edward Burns murder trial
In January 2011, Mackin’s retrial for the murder of Edward Burns, a taxi driver and 36-year-old father-of-five, dramatically collapsed at the Special Criminal Court after the State entered a ‘nolle prosequi’ [a decision not to prosecute]. Several of Mackin’s supporters who were in court applauded and cheered while members of the victim’s family openly wept.
The chief prosecution witness refused to give evidence at the trial after telling a Belfast High Court judge he was threatened that if he gave any evidence, he would be shot dead.
Mackin had pleaded not guilty to the murder at Bog Meadow, Falls Road, Belfast on March 12th, 2007.
It was the second trial of Mackin after a 2008 conviction – which made Mackin the first person convicted in a Dublin court for an alleged murder in Belfast under a rarely-used cross Border anti-terrorism law – was quashed by the Court of Criminal Appeal and a retrial ordered.
In July 2013, another nolle prosequi was entered against Mackin at the non-jury court on a charge of IRA membership and demanding money with menaces on behalf of the INLA in Co Monaghan on May 18th and 21st, 2012.
Mackin’s last criminal conviction in Ireland goes back to March 2017, when he was jailed for three years by the Special Criminal Court for a “depraved and barbaric” assault in which a man in his 50s was nailed to a kitchen floor with a nail-gun.
On the second day of this trial, Mackin admitted to assault causing harm at Larch Court, Kennedy Park, Limerick, on September 14th, 2015.