A 62-year-old man has admitted that he collected an Estonian hitman who was brought to Ireland by the Kinahan organised crime gang to kill a rival Hutch gang member in 2017 and allowed him to stay overnight at his home in Dublin.

Stephen Fowler pleaded guilty to helping a criminal organisation commit a serious offence, namely the murder of James Gately between December 2016 and April 2017.

The convicted drug dealer, who said he would never have gotten involved if he knew a murder was being planned, also held and moved a tracking device for the gang that had been placed on Gately's sister's car.

He will be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court next month.

Imre Arakas was brought to Dublin in April 2017 to kill Gately.

Fowler picked him up in his van after he got off a bus in Dublin city centre on 3 April and put him up that night at his home in Blakestown Cottages in west Dublin.

When gardaí raided his home and arrested him and Arakas the following morning, Fowler told them he knew Arakas had been brought to the country for a criminal purpose, but did not know of the plan to murder Gately.

He told them he got involved because of a drug debt after gardaí seized almost €500,000 worth of cannabis.

Fowler took full responsibility for the drugs, but his defence counsel told the court it was his son, Eric, who was "the person of interest" in the matter.

Eric was subsequently shot dead at their home in Blakestown Cottages in December 2018.

The drugs conviction cost Fowler his marriage of 36 years and the court was told he has disavowed all involvement in organised crime since the murder of his son.

Fowler had been sentenced to eight years in prison with the final two suspended for possession and supply of cannabis, but was released early on a bond. Within six months, he was helping the Kinahan gang.

He will be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court for that offence next month and then sent back to the Circuit Criminal Court for a potential reactivation of the remainder of the drugs sentence.

Three other men, including Arakas, have already been jailed in connection with the same attempt on Gately's life, while two others have been jailed for a subsequent attempt.

Earlier this month, senior cartel member Peter Keating of Rowlagh Green in Clondalkin was jailed for 11 years, having pleaded guilty to directing the activities of a criminal gang between December 2016 and April 2017.

In July, 33-year-old David Duffy of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin admitted helping a criminal organisation over a period of four months in its attempt to murder Gately.

Duffy was sentenced to five years in prison with a further year suspended.

Arakas, 63, was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years in December 2018, after he admitted to conspiring with others to murder Gately in Northern Ireland between 3 and 4 April 2017.

In another attempt on his life, Gately, who wore a bullet-proof vest, survived being shot five times as he sat in his car at the then Topaz petrol station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin on 10 May 2017.

In February 2020, Caolan Smyth, 30, of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, was sentenced to 20 years for the attempted murder of Gately and for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Smyth had denied both charges.

Gary McAreavey,53, of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to acting to impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle, a black Lexus, used in the attempted murder at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth, on the same day.

McAreavey received a four-year jail term with the final year suspended.