A 40-year-old Dublin man who gave instructions for the Kinahan organised crime group as part of attempt to assassinate a rival Hutch gang member has been jailed for 11 years.
Peter Keating from Rowlagh Green in Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to directing the activities of a criminal gang between December 2016 and April 2017.
The father and grandfather admitted gathering information and following James Gately as part of the plot, which included Estonian hitman Imre Arakas, who was brought into Ireland by the Kinahan gang to shoot the Hutch gang member.
The plan to shoot Gately, who was living in Belfast in April 2017, "crystallised' when Arakas was arrested in Dublin.
He bought a wig before he was picked up and was brought to a house in Blakestown where he was arrested the next day by officers from the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
Keating arranged and participated in the surveillance of Gately in Belfast and Dublin, gathered information for the assassination and supervised other front line gang members.
He planted a tracker device, monitored social media and gave instructions to lower level operatives for the Kinahan gang.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that Keating was a senior figure on the ground for the Kinahan organised crime group, which he described as "a particularly large, well organised, sinister and dangerous organisation".
He sentenced him to 12 years in prison with the final year suspended.
The judge also told Keating had he not pleaded guilty and been convicted he would have been jailed for 16 years.
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Keating and other Kinahan gang members had been gathering information on Gately's movements.
They used a UK registered Peugeot car brought in by ferry by a man from the UK who parked the car in Dublin Airport and immediately took an early flight back to Birmingham.
When the driver was later arrested after he came back to Dublin, Keating texted his wife to say "Macca after getting knicked after coming through airport."
Keating had used the UK registered Peugeot to drive to Belfast. He had a photo of five tracker devices on his phone and was in Belfast on 30 March 2017, when one was put on Gately's car.
Another tracker device was put on Gately's sister's car in Dublin and on a car which was unconnected but happened to be parked near his Dublin home .
Gately's tracker was programmed to report his movements every 30 seconds and when he came to Dublin for a court hearing, Keating was outside the house he stayed in in Fairview and followed him to the Criminal Courts of Justice the next day.
He also drove to the M1/M50 junction when Gately was coming to Dublin but missed him by 10 minutes.
Keating also had Instagram images of Gately on his phone "consistent with the information "Arakas needed to identify him" and information about Gately's family Christmas holiday in Florida.
When Arakas was arrested, Keating gave instructions that the UK registered Peugeot was to be cleaned and valeted from top to bottom to ensure "all the prints were gone" and then parked up safely.
Two unregistered mobiles then became active, one for Keating and one for another man, David Duffy, who has pleaded guilty to helping the gang.
Keating saved Duffy's name on the phone as "handsome."
The two men bought ferry tickets to leave Ireland, two others had already gone, but decided not to go when they heard "Macca" had been released.
A married father of three and a grandfather, Keating has ten previous convictions, including one where he was fined €900 in Spain for a "brawl in Benidorm."
The head of An Garda Síochána's Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau described today's sentencing of Keating as significant.
Detective Chief Superintendent Seamus Boland said it was part of the gardaí's strategy to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups who are participating in violence which is "the scourge of some of our communities".
Three people were convicted in the course of this investigation into a criminal conspiracy to murder an individual in Belfast he said, as part of a well-documented gangland feud between the Kinahan organised crime group and the Hutch organised crime gang.
He also said this investigation has identified the transnational reach of organised crime where such groups and people involved in these activities do not recognise our borders.
He also thanked the gardaí's international partners, including the PSNI, the NCA and Europol, and said the investigation was ongoing.