18 Aug 2022

Man who directed €1 million drug deal from Portlaoise prison admits to Dublin takeaway manslaughter

Soldier faces discharge after pointed loaded gun at colleague in Portlaoise prison for a 'laugh'

Portlaoise Prison

A man who directed a drug-dealing operation from Portlaoise Prison has pleaded guilty to manslaughter outside a takeaway in Dublin. A previous murder charge for the killing was quashed in 2017.

Pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Declan Gavin this week, Brian Rattigan said he is sorry for the victim's family and anyone else he has hurt. 

Rattigan's plea was accepted by the State and he remains in custody as he awaits a sentence hearing on December 20 when Mr Gavin's family will have a chance to tell the court of the impact his death has had on them.

Mr Gavin was stabbed to death outside an Abrakebabra on Crumlin Road on August 25, 2001. Rattigan (39) went on trial for his murder and was convicted in 2009 but that conviction was successfully appealed last year.

When arraigned on Monday, October 22, on the same murder charge Rattigan, replied: "Not guilty to murder, guilty of manslaughter." Pauline Walley SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions said the plea was acceptable.

Brendan Grehan SC, on behalf of Rattigan, said his client wished to say, "he is sorry to the Gavin family and anyone else hurt by his actions".

Justice Michael White told Mr Gavin's family that they will have a chance to speak of the effect the killing has had on them when the sentencing hearing takes place on December 20.

Rattigan was previously given a life sentence for the murder of Declan Gavin, who was aged just 21 when he died.

However, in December last year, the Supreme Court quashed the murder conviction over closing remarks made by the trial judge to the jury which, a majority of the Supreme Court found, had gone further than was desirable.

The Court of Appeal recently dismissed an appeal by Rattigan against his conviction for directing the supply of drugs from Portlaoise Prison. The three-judge Special Criminal Court agreed with the prosecution case that Rattigan was the director of a drugs gang conducting a €1 million heroin deal.

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