CAGED killer Brian King Ratt Rattigan can rely on the support of EIGHT key associates when he walks free from Portlaoise Prison this week.
The Irish Sun can reveal gardai have identified the thugs who have remained loyal to the mob boss, 40, during his eighteen years in prison for the killing of Declan Gavin and for running a behind bars heroin smuggling network.
Brian ‘King Ratt’ Rattigan is to walk free from Portlaoise Prison this weekCredit: Courtpix
Brian Rattigan forged close links with Shay O’Byrne before his murder
Rattigan is to rely on eight key associates after his release
They include one of his close lieutenants from the deadly Crumlin and Drimnagh feud whos now living in Co Laois.
Also included are convicted drug dealer Shane Maloney, a close associate of Martin The General Cahill, a suspected dealer living in Co Kildare and a Finglas based hood.
Others include two brothers who used Rattigans drugs to swamp the Basin Street area of the south inner city with heroin and a violent thug, with over 100 convictions to his name, who has been acting as an enforcer in the south inner city.
Despite being in prison for the last eighteen years, Rattigan has also had support from associates of evil killer brothers Warren and Jeffrey Dumbrell and Limerick based gangster Christy Keane.
But he has also been left isolated following the murders of his enforcers Anthony Cannon, Gary Bryan and Neil The Highlander Fitzgerald.
He also suffered a setback in January of this year when former enforcer Mark Pidgeon was caged for three years for stabbing a friend over a 200 debt.
Gardai identified the drug lords known associates as they prepared a policing plan ahead of his release from jail.
They pin-pointed the associates despite Rattigan claiming he has moved away from his old pals and undertaken education courses in prison as he attempts to rebuild his life.
Detectives have also established that he has recently applied for a passport and could leave the country.
During his time in prison, Rattigan forged close links with drugs lord John Gilligan and hitman Shay OByrne, 27, before his murder by the Kinahan cartel in Tallaght on March 13, 2009. One theory is that he could join Gilligan in Spains Alicante.
Our exclusive image shows Rattigan with OByrne when the pair were inside.
A senior source said: Rattigan has lost a lot of key lieutenants over the years but he still has a loyal group of supporters who are still involved in serious criminality.
Obviously the landscape has changed since he went to prison many years ago and he wont be on a par with organisations such as the Kinahan cartel.
But due to his violent nature and his continued association with major criminals he will always pose a serious threat. Hes still a young man so he could still try and throw his weight around.
He claims to be a changed man but gardai wont be taking any chances when he walks free. You only have to look at someone like John Gilligan to see how quickly serious criminals can immerse themselves in organised crime.
As part of our revelations on the release of one of Irelands most notorious criminals, we can reveal gardai have classified the threat against him as severe due to his involvement in organised crime over years.
And we also outline how Gardai met with innocent relatives of Rattigans family last week.
Officers met with the relatives because Rattigans address remains his family home in Drimnagh, south Dublin. Gardai also sent a bulletin to garda stations last week reminding officers the thug was set to be released.
But detectives believe Rattigan will stay away from his old stomping ground over fears he could be targeted by associates from arch-enemy and convicted Kinahan cartel killer Fat Freddie Thompson.
Although Rattigan claims that his war with Thompson is over, there are fears young associates of Thompson could target the freed mob boss.
A source said: The reality is only Brian Rattigan knows what he intends to do when hes freed. Hes a well known criminal and has made many enemies over the years.
Gardai have to take every precaution ahead of his release and to remind his relatives of security because of his background.
The address that gardai have for Rattigan is in Drimnagh but he will be a free man and could literally go anywhere. As part of his release conditions, Rattigan had to inform gardai of a permanent address.
Rattigan also used his time on the inside to forge links with some of Irelands most dangerous criminals and also to run a huge 1m heroin smuggling network.
But his drug dealing network was later smashed after it was uncovered by gardai. Our image shows the secret ledgers he used to control his empire.They were recovered when gardai swooped on Cell 42 in Irelands toughest prison on May 22, 2008.
The decision by Rattigan already serving time for the killing of Declan Gavin to keep track of his illicit dealings led to him receiving an additional 17-year sentence in 2013.
But he later came to garda attention in 2016 when he was targeted by officers from Kevin Street station under Operation Respite.
On that occasion, gardai recovered almost 500,000 worth of heroin and 70,000 of cannabis when they swooped on a number of properties in the Basin Street area.
Investigators believe Rattigans cohorts were using the connections he had made in jail to send shipments of drugs to Cavan and Kildare.
Aside from his drug dealing activities when he was behind bars, Rattigan also penned soppy love letters to his former partner McEnroe and dressed up as the cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz in a behind bars panto.
Rattigan is being freed just two years after he received an extra nine-year jail term for the 2001 manslaughter of onetime pal Declan Gavin.
He had a November 2019 release date from the 17-year term he received for drug dealing, but this was backdated to 2008.
Rattigan, who wrote a letter of apology to Declan Gavins mum Pauline asking for forgiveness, was tried twice for murder in 2009.
The first jury failed to reach a verdict but a second convicted him. However, the rap was successfully appealed in 2017.
Evil Rattigan was due to go on trial for murder, but the State accepted his manslaughter plea when he entered it on October 2, 2018.
Hes been released due to early remission.
Limerick based gangster Christy Keane
Jeffrey DumbrellCredit: Courtpix
Warren DumbrellCredit: Courtpix

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