Restaurateur Marcus Sweeney’s firm agrees to hand over Co Meath lands in Cab case

Judge previously described Celtic Tiger socialite as ‘up to his oxters’ in organised crime

A firm of Celtic Tiger restaurateur Marcus Sweeney has agreed to hand over Co Meath lands as part of a case brought by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab).

Previously, Mr Justice Alexander Owens described the socialite as “up to his oxters” in organised crime.

The judge said the bureau made out a “very compelling case” for him to rule that there was a “high degree of probability” that the site at Waynestown was acquired by EWM Property Holdings Limited with crime proceeds.

The bureau alleged Mr Sweeney is the founder and director of EWM.


He made a temporary order prohibiting EWM or any notified person from disposing of the site or diminishing its value.

On Wednesday, the court was told EWM was consenting to an order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, for the bureau’s receiver to take possession of the site.

Mr Justice Owens noted EWM has undertaken to vacate the property by 11am on April 4th and, with court orders now enforcing this, would be in contempt of court if the undertaking is breached.

The Cab alleged EWM purchased the land for €102,000 using, in part, cash from unknown sources, another investment company and from an innocent investor.

The judge said the firm appeared to be involved in what he described as a “highly dubious investment scheme”. Money given by investors was used for a different purpose, meaning the property was purchased with the proceeds of crime, he said.

Mr Sweeney (45), who ran Il Pomo D’Oro on South William Street before a receiver was appointed in 2007, was not in court on Wednesday or at the hearing of the Cab’s application in January.

The Cab alleged he is the director and founder of EWM and Evergreen Wealth Management Limited, the latter of which accepted €721,000 worth of cash lodgements from unknown sources between 2014 and 2020.

The court heard claims convicted heroin dealer Brian Grendon, of Rowlagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, invested in Evergreen in 2015 through his company BG Autos. He is not a part of the Cab’s proceedings against EWM.

The bureau also alleged Mr Sweeney has associations with other known criminals in Ireland and abroad.

Mr Sweeney was a high-profile socialite during the Celtic Tiger. He had a relationship with model Katy French, who died aged 24 following a cocaine overdose in 2007.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter