Man living in Longford involved in attempted gangland hit denies drugs charge
A Longford man, who has pleaded guilty to his involvement in an attempted gangland assassination in Dublin for which he is due to be sentenced in September, was in court last week to face drugs possession charges.
Wayne Ryan (41) 27 Lanna Aoibhinn, St Michael's Road, Longford appeared at a sitting of Longford District Court last week charged with possession of methadone at the aforementioned address on August 15 2019.
Garda Brian Carroll said he, together with two other gardaí, carried out a search at 27 Lanna Aoibhinn at around 2pm.
He said shortly after entering the property he came across a quantity of drugs, believed to be methadone in the kitchen area of the house.
Garda Carroll said when quizzed about who owned the drugs, Mr Ryan allegedly claimed the item was his. He added after it had been sent away for analysis, the value of drugs found returned a monetary value of €12.
Garda Carroll added there was no evidence the drugs had been prescribed by a doctor.
In defence, John Quinn, asked is anyone else was present in the property at the time of the search.
Garda Carroll said Mr Ryan's partner at the time was but that she was not charged in relation to the incident.
“Mr Ryan took possession of it at the scene,” said Garda Carroll. “He said it was his.”
Mr Ryan, who was brought into court in handcuffs wearing blue shorts and a grey and white top, was asked by Judge Hughes why he was currently in prison.
“I'm in custody on remand for attempted murder and possession of a firearm,” replied Mr Ryan.
The accused himself revealed he had pleaded guilty to the alleged offence which resulted in Wayne Whelan being shot 11 times in west Dublin nearly two years ago.
Mr Ryan pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Whelan (42) at Griffeen Glen Park, Lucan, Co Dublin on September 4, 2019 before a sitting of the Central Criminal Court back in May.
Three other co-accused have also pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Whelan, who was later killed in a separate shooting incident.
The four were originally charged with the attempted murder of Whelan and due to stand trial together on June 21 this year, but the date was vacated following their pleas.
Whelan, who survived the attack, was shot a number of times in his body, head and arms while he was sitting in his car in an estate in Lucan.
However, he was subsequently shot dead in a vehicle two months later before it was set on fire with his remains inside at Mount Andrew Rise in Lucan on November 18th, 2019. He was identified using DNA analysis.
“This charge (drugs possession) is a mickey mouse charge compared to what I am facing,” he said.
Garda Carroll said Mr Ryan, at the time, had been living with his now ex partner when gardaí raided the property.
Mr Quinn asked Garda Carroll ifhe had a note in his garda notebook to back up the claims he was making.
Garda Carroll said he made the admission to both himself and two accompanying gardaí, prompting Mr Ryan to shout back: “That's lies.I didn't take responsibility.”
Mr Ryan continued to plead his own innocence by saying there were a number of other individuals who were also using the house as a place in which to stay.
“There was a heroin addict living in the house and he was on methadone,” added Mr Ryan. “Why would I take responsibility if it had nothing to do with me?”
Asked about the lilt in his accent, Mr Ryan revealed he was from Limerick originally and was no stranger to the judicial system.
He also told Judge Seamus Hughes he had been arrested at the same address in Longford in September 2019 in connection to a separate murder investigation in Limerick.
Judge Hughes said it was rare an individual with such an interesting past had come before the courts.
“You seem to be a colourful character to me,” he said.
In summation, Judge Hughes said he found the evidence provided by Garda Carroll to be more “credible” than Mr Ryan, adding it was likely submissions made by other gardaí at the scene would be almost identical to that of the chief prosecution witness.
Despite that, Judge Hughes said the incident before the courts was not a “hanging offence”.
He consequently fined Mr Ryan€250 to be payable forthwith.
In the event the fine was not paid, he sentenced Mr Ryan to five days in lieu of the said monetary penalty.
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