DUBLIN, Ireland – Charles McClean, a 35-year-old man from Clondalkin, has admitted to obstructing the investigation into the murder of gangland figure Mark ‘Guinea Pig’ Desmond in Lucan eight years ago. McClean, already serving a lengthy prison sentence for his involvement in other criminal activities, pleaded guilty to impeding the arrest of the person responsible for Desmond’s murder, which was a significant development in the long-standing case.
Back in 2021, McClean was handed two consecutive sentences totaling 16.5 years for his role in facilitating a criminal organization and for conspiring to murder gangland criminal Wayne Whelan. Whelan, who survived the murder attempt, was later shot dead in a separate attack in November 2019. Additionally, McClean was originally charged with murdering Mark Desmond but pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of another person in connection with the case.
The victim, Mark Desmond, was 41 years old when he was fatally shot multiple times in Lucan. Known to have connections to dissident republicans and the drug trade in west Dublin, Desmond had a history of criminal charges, including being accused of murdering two men in 1999. However, those charges were dropped shortly before he was set to stand trial.
McClean’s legal team requested a governor’s report and an educational report from Portlaoise Prison ahead of his sentencing hearing scheduled for February 6. His defense attorneys had previously represented him in a different case where he was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years for facilitating a criminal organization in the fatal shooting of Thomas McCarthy, an innocent man with no criminal ties. McClean’s lengthy criminal record and escalating offenses in 2019 and 2020 were cited by the presiding judge, highlighting the severity of his previous convictions, including conspiracy to commit murder.