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Was He The Godfather?
Christy Dunne has been depicted as the Godfather of Irish crime. His family were notorious for their involvement in the heroin trade. But has the portrayal of the man himself been wide of the mark? Here, he tells his side of the story.
Jason O'Toole, 25 Jul 2012
He’s sometimes portrayed as the original godfather of the Irish underworld, but the infamous Christy ‘Bronco’ Dunne is living proof that crime doesn’t pay.
He once had all the trappings of wealth – the fancy house, fast cars and even a boat – but today the 74-year-old pensioner lives in a bed-sit that’s only slightly bigger than a prison cell.
It’s certainly a dramatic fall from the ostentatious champagne lifestyle that the infamous Dunne brothers flaunted during the height of their notoriety, back in the 1970s and 80s.
“I’m sorry for the way my life’s turned out,” Christopher, as he prefers to be called, says to me. “If I die tomorrow, there’s nobody to fucking bury me. I’ll be a pauper in a pauper’s grave.”
Many will have little sympathy for a man who is widely depicted as the pioneer of serious crime in Ireland – and was the alleged mastermind behind a spate of armed robberies in the early 1970s.
Indeed, the younger Dunne brothers became household names when they were fingered as the main culprits behind the heroin epidemic that exploded on the Dublin streets in the early 1980s. How accurate is this portrayal of the man sitting in front of me?
Christopher Dunne has agreed to do this exclusive interview to set the record straight. His name has resurfaced in several TV documentaries, books and newspaper articles over the past two years, all of which he claims were littered with ‘lies and inaccuracies’. His attendance at a recent funeral turned into a media circus, with the tabloids running full-page stories that described him as the ‘grandfather of Irish crime’.
“I can’t even attend a funeral in peace,” he complains bitterly. “I was never the godfather, I was a good father. I’ve been portrayed as a monster. I’m the most demonised man in Ireland. But there’s a lot of other things involved in Christopher Dunne that people don’t know. Anything that ever has been written about me is lies.”
I explain to him that it will be up to the readers to judge.