At a previous Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Gary O’Neill (40) of Churchfields, Ashbourne, Co. Meath pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering at Circle K, Kilshane Cross, Finglas on February 12, 2021. The former professional footballer, who lined out with numerous League Of Ireland clubs and has also coached with local side Killegland, has no previous convictions.

42-year-old Jonathon Barton, with an address at Wheatfield Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty to a count of money laundering at Circle K, Kilshane Cross, Finglas on the same date.

Edward Fitzpatrick, 39, of Ballyfermot Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering at Ballyfermot Road on the same date.

At the sentence hearing, Garda Detective John Paul Flanagan told Fiona Crawford BL, prosecuting, that a surveillance operation of Barton began after gardaí received a confidential tip-off.

They observed a van driven by Barton pull up outside a property, later identified as Fitzpatrick’s residence, at 3.25pm on the day in question. Barton parked the van in the driveway, then got out. Fitzpatrick emerged from the house and both men entered the property.

Around 20 minutes later, Barton was seen leaving the house carrying a blue shopping bag, which appeared heavy. He then got into the van while Fitzpatrick returned to his home.

Gardai followed Barton who later pulled into the Circle K service station at Kilshane Cross. They saw him interacting with the driver of a parked silver car. Barton was seen handing a bag to the driver, later identified as O’Neill.

Barton and O’Neill were both arrested. The blue shopping bag was found in the boot of O’Neill’s car. It contained €199,505 cash in three packages. A further €2,250 was recovered from O’Neill’s car.