Brothers caught digging up €80,000 in coffee jars in a Dublin field

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

By Fiona Ferguson

A garda helicopter captured footage of members of the “Wall organised crime group” digging up almost €80,000 buried in coffee jars in a suburban Dublin field, a court has heard.

Gardai believe that the cash dug up by brothers Michael (30), Thomas (39) and Patrick (20) Wall using shovels and a mini digger was derived from burglaries.

Bottles of Lucozade and packets of Monster Munch crisps, which Patrick Wall had earlier been captured on CCTV footage buying in a local Apple Green, were also found in the hole.

The court heard the brothers began digging after becoming aware the landowner was carrying out groundworks at the location. They had approached local businesses earlier in the day to inquire about the works and ask that it be stopped.

Michael Wall of Fortunestown Lane, Tallaght and Thomas and Patrick Wall, both of Fortunestown Crescent, Tallaght were initially charged with money laundering offences but guilty pleas to possession of stolen property were accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Detective Garda Kate Gilligan of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau told Judge Orla Crowe the offences took place on August 14, 2020 at a field in Keatings Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

She said the location was beside the N7 motorway close to a large Apple Green petrol station.

The court heard gardai were in receipt of confidential information that the “Wall organised crime group” were seeking to recover a large amount of cash buried in the field.

An operation was put in place and at 3pm the garda helicopter observed a number of people at the location digging in a specific area. Footage was recorded and the helicopter returned to Baldonnell.

Gardai, who had known members of the Wall family for a significant time, identified the three men before the court on the footage. The helicopter returned to the scene where it observed a mini digger had arrived, with five people in total present and a large hole in the field.

Gardai entered the field and recovered four jars of own brand Lidl coffee containing cash, loose cash and a fifth smashed jar. Two jars had been placed into a paper Apple Green bag with loose cash and the cash was damp, as if it had just been dug up. The total found was €79,000

The garda investigation revealed that earlier that day Michael and Thomas had inquired at local businesses about work being carried out on the land and asked that it be desisted. They were told a local businessman had hired builders to take out hedges and carry out groundworks.

A builder carrying out legitimate work for the previous three weeks on the land was approached by a large group of men who asked what he was doing. He observed other men using a tape to measure from the fence to a location in the middle of the field where they started digging.

Det Gda Gilligan said the builder later left work and put the digger away. The other men did not have the owner’s permission to be digging on the field.

The three brothers were arrested and each told gardai they were building fences for horses.

Thomas Wall has 12 previous convictions, while Michael Wall has one previous conviction and Patrick Wall, has no previous convictions.

Judge Crowe adjourned sentencing until March 4, 2024 to allow reports to be prepared. Pleas in mitigation will be given on that date for all three men by their defence counsel.

Related Articles