Graham “The Wig” Whelan, at the Criminal Courts of Justice

Graham “The Wig” Whelan


One of the country’s most notorious gangland criminals pleaded guilty today to laundering €3,415 and to possession of cocaine, cannabis and a high-end watch at a south Dublin hotel.

Graham ‘The Wig’ Whelan (38) of Walkinstown Avenue, Dublin 12, will be sentenced by the non-jury Special Criminal Court on October 5 next.

At a previous hearing Detective Garda Donal Donoghue said that when Whelan was asked where the €1,275 in cash had come from which was discovered in the hotel search, he replied that it came from, “up his Swiss roll, up his arse”.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering contrary to section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act on January 31, 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

The first count related to a sum of €1,275 in cash that was found on his person and the second to a sum of €2,140 that was used to pay for the hotel room.

The third count related to an Audemers Piguet Royal Oak gentleman’s watch that was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Whelan who has links to the Kinahan cartel is considered one of the country’s best known drug dealers.

Originally from Clonard Road in Crumlin, Whelan was based mainly in Liverpool, Amsterdam and Ibiza for years, where he is suspected of being heavily involved in the cartel’s operations.

However in recent times he has been spending more time in Dublin and sources say that he was called to the Walkinstown property after the tragedy unfolded there on Sunday morning.

Whelan was close pals with cartel figure David Byrne, who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel bloodbath in February 2016.

He was also central to the drugs bust that led to the bitter Crumlin/Drimnagh feud breaking out in 2001.

In February of that year, ‘The Wig’ was jailed for six years for possession of IR£1.25m (€1.6m) of ecstasy tablets and cocaine at the Holiday Inn on Pearse Street in Dublin a year earlier.

After being arrested by gardaí, Whelan told them he could do 10 years “standing on his head”.

‘The Wig’ was arrested but later released without charge by gardaí investigating the feud gun murder of rival criminal Gary Bryan (31) in Walkinstown in September 2006.