Posh ex Blackrock College student busted over €6m drugs haul while on-the-run in Spain (2024)

Cops catch up with on-the-run former student of Blackrock College hiding in Spain under fake name

This is the moment a posh ex-Blackrock College student is arrested while on the run in Spain for a €6 million drugs haul.

​Ryon Fitzpatrick (34) can be seen being hauled away by police after he was traced to the Costa Blanca, where he was living under a fake name.

​Despite being raised in a stunning mansion in Co. Wicklow, Fitzpatrick has been described as a ‘mid-level’ member of a crime gang involved in international drugs trafficking.

​Before going on the run in Spain, Ryon Fitzpatrick was a well-known face on Dublin’s social scene and organised party events at Dublin clubs in his 20s.

Posh ex Blackrock College student busted over €6m drugs haul while on-the-run in Spain (1)

​He has been the director of two companies over the years, including an events promotion company which he set up in 2015, and a construction firm in 2018.

​The events company has since dissolved, while the construction firm has not filed any accounts since the drug bust in 2020.

​This week, he was jailed for six-and-a-half years over the cannabis haul, which was seized in north county Dublin in October 2020.

​Fitzpatrick claimed that he amassed a drug debt in the lead-up to the 2020 seizure, which resulted in his involvement in the crime.

​Gardaí found the drugs in a van full of shoe-boxes and arrested Fitzpatrick along with two English criminals.

He was driving an accompanying lookout car which was following in convoy with the van.

​He was arrested and questioned but later released without charge while a file was prepared for the DPP. ​The court heard how Fitzpatrick subsequently fled to Spain, where he was using a false identity.

​A warrant was issued for his arrest and Spanish cops apprehended him in Teulada, near Benidorm on the Costa Blanca last year.

​Spanish Cops said they moved in on him after an anonymous tip-off and he tried to avoid arrest by showing a fake ID.

​He was extradited back to Ireland last December and pleaded guilty to the drugs charges.

​In court, Fitzpatrick’s address was given as Cookstown Road, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow – one of Ireland’s most exclusive addresses.

​Ryon is a relative of hotelier and ex-property magnate Patrick Fitzpatrick, who made millions during the Celtic Tiger. Patrick Fitzpatrick and his family have no involvement in criminality.

​Following the crash, Patrick ended up owing millions to NAMA before availing of bankruptcy in England in 2012.

Posh ex Blackrock College student busted over €6m drugs haul while on-the-run in Spain (2)

​In 2020, Patrick hit the headlines when a businessman claimed in the High Court that he had hired veteran criminal Martin ‘the Viper’ Foley’s firm to collect a disputed debt.

​John Kieran Brennan, from Bunclody, Co. Wexford, secured a temporary injunction after several persons that he claimed work for Foley’s firm arrived at his home.

​The court was told that Mr Fitzpatrick has alleged that he was owed money by Mr Brennan, who refuted the claims.

​Mr Brennan claimed the men linked to Foley threatened both him and his family, demanded that he pay Mr Fitzpatrick and said they would return later to get the money.

​Ryon’s court appearance this week was not the first time he has fallen foul of the law.

​He has 13 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic offences, but at the age of 20 he was convicted over an incident where he viciously assaulted a teenager and smashed a bus shelter.

​The victim and a friend approached a bus stop near Foxrock Church on the Stillorgan Road in Dublin October 26, 2009 and saw three men standing there.

​He recognised Fitzpatrick, who produced a steel extendible baton, pushed it in to his chest and told him to sit down.

​Fitzpatrick and the other men then told the two teenagers that they should “know their place” before smashing the glass of the bus shelter with the baton.

​When the teenager stood up to protest the treatment of his friend, Fitzpatrick began hitting him with the baton.

​The attack only stopped after a girl intervened and got Fitzpatrick away from the victim.

​Fitzpatrick was given a four-month suspended sentence for the attack. At the sentence hearing, Judge Martin Nolan said that it appeared that Fitzpatrick had pulled his life together in the aftermath of the offence.

​However, in reality Fitzpatrick got further involved in crime.

​In court this week, John Fitzgerald SC, defending, said Fitzpatrick fled to Spain because he was under threat.​

He said he built a new life for himself over there, was working and was in a relationship.​

He said Fitzpatrick grew up in a household with material advantages, but that his home life was characterised by alcohol and violence. He started taking drugs as a teenager and engaged in self-destructive behaviour.​

Gardaí believe that Fitzpatrick was at around the mid-level of a criminal gang which operated internationally.​

Posh ex Blackrock College student busted over €6m drugs haul while on-the-run in Spain (3)

The drugs had come into the country in a shipment from Bilbao, Spain, and were intercepted by customs officials, the court heard. Gardaí arranged for a controlled delivery of these drugs to a legitimate logistics centre in Dublin, which was put under surveillance.​

The court heard that Fitzpatrick’s co-accused – Anthony Kinghorn and Mark Nesbitt – travelled to Ireland from the UK and were seen by gardaí leaving the logistics centre in a van on the day in question. They were accompanied by Fitzpatrick, who was driving a car.​

Gardaí stopped the men just as they were about to enter a derelict field in Swords. A total of 304 kilos of cannabis were found in shoe-boxes in the back of the van, with an estimated street value of €6,080,000.​

Fitzpatrick was also found to have a small amount of cocaine in his car, as well as three phones – one of which was encrypted with an app that criminal gangs use to communicate, the court heard.​

Kinghorn (now 51), of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, London, England, pleaded guilty and was jailed for eight years in 2021. Nesbitt (now 53) of Whitefield House, Cecil Crescent, Hatfield, Hertfordshire in the UK was found guilty by a jury following a trial in 2022 and was also jailed for eight years.

​Spanish authorities arrested another Irishman who they say is a “dedicated drug trafficker” on the Costa Blanca in February.

​Police believe that the 26-year-old, who was arrested in the Alicante town of Rojales, was part of a British-led gang that had been sending large quantities of cannabis to Ireland through the post.

Read more

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Posh ex Blackrock College student busted over €6m drugs haul while on-the-run in Spain (2024)


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