Conor McGregor’s sister Aoife visits money-laundering gang member in prison

Aoife McGregor – the sister of UFC star Conor McGregor – has visited a gangster linked with the notorious Kinahan cartel.

The 36-year-old, who is one of McGregor's two sisters, visited Graham “The Wig” Whelan at Portlaoise Prison on Wednesday.

Mr Whelan, 39, was jailed for 18 months last November on charges of money laundering for a criminal gang.

He was also one of two men charged after a €1.6million drug raid at a Holiday Inn Hotel in Dublin in 2000.

It marks Ms McGregor's second visit to see Mr Whelan in prison and she declined to comment when asked by the Irish Mirror before entering the gates of the maximum security facility.

The aftermath of the 2000 raid divided a gang of drug dealers and led to the infamous Crumlin-Drimnagh feud that resulted in the deaths of 16 men.

The Special Criminal Court heard last November how Mr Whelan boasted to gardai that he got the €1,200 in cash from “up his Swiss roll” during a Dublin arrest in January 2019.

During the arrest, Mr Whelan told detectives he was a "dangerous criminal” and urged them to "look him up", the court was told.

The court heard this was in reference to Mr Whelan being jailed for six years over the 2000 drug raid at the Holiday Inn Hotel, which took place when he was 17.

Mr Whelan also has convictions for violent disorder, criminal damage and assault causing harm and grievous bodily harm, in which he received a two-year suspended sentence.

Mr Justice Hunt said Mr Whelan – who has 33 convictions in total – told gardai he paid €8,000 using his credit card for a diamond-encrusted watch, which was valued at €28,000.

When being arrested for charges of money laundering, he boasted to gardai he could do 10 years in jail “standing on his head.”

Following that arrest, Mr Whelan pleaded guilty to participating in the actions of an organised crime gang by laundering money for the group.

He admitted to being in possession of a €28,000 designer watch and €1,200, both found to be the proceeds of crime.

Defence counsel Michael Bowman said during Mr Whelan's hearing last year he Whelan was their primary carer of his four children, following the death of his partner.

Mr Whelan's partner died by suicide in 2020, with Mr Justice Tony Hunt stating it took “an enormous personal tragedy to bring about a change in his lifestyle”.

Mr Bowman said Mr Whelan had undergone counselling for problems with drugs and alcohol and that his client’s priority was the upbringing of his children.

Ms McGregor has not commented on her friendship with Whelan, but the gangster has been pictured with her brother during social outings in the past.

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