A man has pleaded guilty to leading the activities of a criminal organization in connection with the attempted murder of Kinahan cartel target James ‘Mago’ Gately.
eter Keating (40) of Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty this afternoon in the Special Criminal Court to directing the activities of a criminal organization between December 7, 2016 and April 4, 2017, inclusive, inside and outside the state under section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Mr Gately was shot and killed several times while sitting in his car at the Topaz petrol station on Clonashaugh Road, Dublin 17, on May 10, 2017.
The Special Criminal Court learned last week that criminals who attempted to assassinate Mr Gately believed he was involved in the attack on the Regency Hotel in February 2016, in which gang member David Byrne Kinahan, was shot.
In February this year Caolan Smyth (29) of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath was sentenced to 20 years for the attempted murder of Mr Gately and for possession of a firearm with the intent to put life in danger. Smyth had denied both charges.
Gary McAreavey (53) of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to acting to prevent an arrest or prosecution by purchasing gasoline and assisting in the vehicle fire, a Lexus black, used in the attempted murder at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth on the same day.
McAreavey was sentenced to four years in prison, with the final year suspended.
The attack marked Mr Gately’s second assassination attempt, as former Estonian separatist Imre Arakas was intercepted by gardaí before he could execute a contract on the victim’s life the previous month.
Arakas (62) was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years in December 2018 after admitting to conspiring with others to assassinate Mr Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3-4, 2017.
Mr Gately, who was warned by Gardaí of a threat to his life and was wearing a bulletproof vest, survived the shooting after sustaining upper chest and neck injuries.
In April this year, David Duffy (33) of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty to knowing about the existence of a criminal organization and participating in or contributing to activities related to said offense, namely the murder of Mr. Gately, for the purpose of strengthening the capacity of said criminal organization or one of its members to commit the serious offense, within the State between December 7, 2016 and April 6, 2017, both dates included.
Duffy is due to be sentenced in July.
In a jury-less court hearing in July last year, Keating was also accused of having, between December 7, 2016 and April 6, 2017, both dates inclusive, within the state the existence of a criminal organization. , and with the intentionn to strengthen the capacity of such criminal organization, or one of its members, to commit a serious felony or misdemeanor, namely the murder of Mr. Gately, participated in or contributed to activities related to said offense.
Keating’s attorney Hugh Hartnett SC said his client pleaded “very early” in the case, but President Judge Tony Hunt said even though it was early a trial date still had to be canceled.
A governor’s report was requested by Mr Hartnett from Portlaoise Prison and Judge Hunt adjourned the case to July 26.