A man has been convicted of conspiring with the late Eamonn Dunne and four other criminals to raid a cash-in-transit van in Celbridge five years ago.
Joseph Warren (30) of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road in Celbridge on November 2, 2007.
The 16-day trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard evidence that Gardai had mounted a surveillance operation on Warren, and five other men who gathered in four vehicles at 6 am in Ballymun on the morning of the raid.
The vehicles travelled in convoy to near the Chubb Ireland headquarters and from there followed a cash-in-transit van, a wine coloured Nissan Patrol, to Celbridge.
The Nissan Patrol arrived at Tesco in Celbridge just before 10 am and the driver got out to deliver the cash.
Warren and Michael Ryan (38) of Carton Drive, Poppintree approached the van but failed in their attempt to open the door. Warren was carrying a consaw while Ryan had a set of keys.
At this point Gardai intervened and Ryan dropped the keys. The keys were later found to open four Chubb vans but not the one they were approaching.
Warren had returned to his vehicle and had put the consaw into the boot before gardai moved in.
He was walking away from the carpark when gardai arrested him. Three more men, Jeffrey Morrow (30) of Hazlecroft Road, Finglas, Eamonn Dunne (34) of Dunsoughly Drive, Rathoath Road, Finglas and Alan (38) and Wayne Bradley (33) of Churchfields Road, Kentstown, Co Meath and of Rathroad Road, Finglas respectively, were also arrested nearby.
Warren told the jury his role on the day was to source a consaw and was told minutes before the raid to use the tool to cut open the Nissan Patrol, to allow Ryan access to the vehicle and to walk away.
He said he later “bottled it” because he thought the job was “suicidal”.
“I thought it was ludicrous, madness, in a full carpark, in full view of everyone,” Warren said before he added that if he had used the consaw it would have drawn attention to them.
With the exception of Mr. Dunne, all of the men have been successfully prosecuted in relation to the incident. Eamonn Dunne was facing the same charge when he was shot dead in April 2010.
The jury of five women and seven men had spent just under three hours considering the verdict before they unanimously found Warren guilty.
Judge Patrick McCartan thanked the jurors for their service before he revoked Warren’s bail and remanded him in custody.
He adjourned the case to next week when he will also hear evidence of a firearm offence that Warren has pleaded guilty to and which was committed while he was on bail for the attempted heist.
Warren claimed during the trial that he was under duress from Eamonn Dunne to get involved in the raid.
He said he got a Skoda Octavia from Dunne “on tick” and when he was slow to pay back the debt Dunne told him he had no option but to get involved in this raid.
Warren claimed Dunne told him he would “be on top of Marlo” and “be sent to God’s house” if he didn’t do as instructed.
He said he knew at that time that Dunne was a gangster and “was a very, very serious man”. He said it was in the newspapers that Dunne had killed another criminal, Martin “Marlo” Hyland and was responsible for “20 murders”.
Mr Warren said that his frame of mind in the days leading up to the raid, after being told by Dunne to source a working consaw, was ““Just to keep him happy.”
Mr Warren did not accept suggestions that he was, in fact, a willing and active participant in the attempted heist.
He also rejected a suggestions from Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that he was in fact very close to Mr. Dunne.
The jury was shown nine photographs of Dunne’s funeral which depicted Warren acting as pallbearer on the left of the coffin, with Wayne and Alan Bradley carrying the casket at the front.
The photographs also showed Warren embracing Eamonn Dunne’s father as the coffin was placed in the hearse.
- - Sonya McLean © CCC.nuacht