'Bag man' is key to tracing €1m paid to 'Dublin Jimmy' for attacks on QIH bosses

Police are beginning to trace the vast hidden fortune Cyril McGuinness made from a life of organised crime – including more than €1m he was paid for the Quinn Industrial Holdings attacks.

The Irish Independent can reveal that McGuinness, nicknamed Dublin Jimmy, had a most trusted associate and long-time partner in crime who set up a number of construction and scrap metal companies both here and in the UK. The firms were established for the purpose of laundering his money and gardaí are working with police to follow the money trail.

In September, Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Kevin Lunney (50) was abducted outside his home near Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and taken to a horsebox across the Border, where he was savagely beaten.

His attackers broke his leg, sliced his fingernails and face with a Stanley knife, carved QIH on his chest and doused the father of six in bleach.

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Convicted criminal McGuinness was considered a key suspect, but he died earlier this month during a police raid in England.

The known gangster and smuggler suffered a heart attack while Derbyshire Police were searching a house where he was staying in the Buxton area.

The attack on Mr Lunney was the most serious of a five-year campaign of intimidation targeting the companies and directors that now control the business portfolio that was built up by fallen tycoon Seán Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man. The Quinn family has consistently condemned and distanced itself from those attacking the new owners.

Senior gardaí are quietly confident that the people responsible for the attack will face prosecution. However, sources say that there are likely to be several more arrests and searches as detectives piece together their case.

Gardaí announced yesterday morning that two suspects, both aged 38, had been detained in the Dublin region – suspected of being key members of the gang which carried out the attack.

Later the force confirmed further arrests of two men aged 25 and 66.

Now the authorities are focusing on a ‘bag man’ from the Border area – a former digger driver and trucker who was involved with McGuinness in a number of major criminal rackets.

These include tax fraud, fuel laundering, smuggling, illegal dumping and the theft of plant and farm machinery in Ireland, Britain and across Europe.

However, despite his criminal connections and involvement in criminal activity, the ‘bag man’ has no convictions – which has allowed him to operate under the radar for several years.

Tax returns for his UK-based construction firm show that it has less than £10,000 (€11,600) in the bank, but it is understood that it has been used to launder the proceeds of crime for McGuinness and his associates for several years.

He and McGuinness also invested their criminal profits, buying up a number of prime properties across Ireland and Britain. There was considerable surprise when the ‘bag man’ bought a large estate and then carried out more than €300,000 worth of refurbishment work, most of which was paid for in cash.

A number of reliable sources claim that he was a front for Dublin Jimmy, who was the real beneficial owner of many of the properties.

IRA godfather and smuggler Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy regularly visited McGuinness for meetings with him, and his money launderer.

It is understood that following the attack and the intensive Garda response which the gang hadn’t expected, the ‘bag man’ arranged to spirit McGuinness out of the country to a safe house in Derbyshire where he was ultimately located by police two weeks ago.

  • Read more: Gangster ‘Dublin Jimmy’ smoked three cigarettes and drank tea after arrest before he died from ‘cardiac event’, inquest told
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