Sentencing put back for ‘key’ target

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BERNARD ‘Gan’ Joyce, of Newtown, Beauparc, Slane, Co Meath, has appeared before Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.

Joyce, who has been a target of Gardai for years, is now facing a lengthy jail term after he turned up during a raid led by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) with money hidden in a camper van.

He pleaded guilty to possessing €911,600, which may have been the proceeds of criminal conduct, at Arnestown, Foulksmills, Co Wexford, on September 22, 2018, under the money-laundering act.

Defence counsel Philip Sheahan SC said much of this would have stemmed from a gambling habit which had got out of control. It was a significant gambling addiction, he said.

Mr Sheahan, in applying for an adjournment of sentencing, asked the court to allow time for a governor’s report, education report, probation and welfare report and psychological report. He added that the defendant was in custody on this charge.

Judge Quinn said he would not grant the application over the psychological report, but if it was relevant at the sentencing hearing he would look at it again. He said he would grant the application over the remaining reports.

Sentencing was adjourned to June 19th with the defendant remanded in custody until that date. According to sources, Joyce is closely connected to a gang that was targeted last month by Gardai, who found a huge haul of weapons and bullets as well as a monkey in a cage.

Two brothers who are suspected of being key members of the dangerous organised Traveller gang were arrested at the scene of the search operation at a halting site in Finglas, Dublin on April 4.

The brothers were later released without charge after officers were initially unable to link them to the weapons, guns and drugs which weren’t found in “any particular property” according to Gardai.

However, a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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