Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stolen Vermeer, Dessie's Divine Intervention, Slab's Saintly Salvation !!

The Sunday Times December 17, 2006
Bad boy Dessie a saint, say his friends,

A Saintly Task for this New Saint !!

Art Hostage says, Sincerity is, by the Discovery of the Stolen Vermeer in a Confession Box ??

Liam Clarke
LAST week he was accused of being involved in vicious gangland crime in Dublin, but friends of Dessie O’Hare insist he is something of a saint. The former terrorist is said to have been working with children’s charities, accompanying pilgrims to Lourdes and supervising handicapped people on retreat.

Last Tuesday, O’Hare was accused by tabloid newspapers in Dublin and Belfast of murdering Martin “Marlo” Hyland, reputedly Ireland’s most important drug dealer, and Anthony Campbell, an innocent plumber.

The double murder was supposed to have borne the hallmarks of O’Hare, who chiselled off the fingers of a dentist he kidnapped in 1987. Newspapers claimed the gardai were looking for the Border Fox and that he had gone on the run.

Now authoritative security sources say O’Hare is not a suspect and that his whereabouts are known to gardai.

Willie Gallagher, a spokesman for the IRSP and who works with former INLA prisoners including O’Hare, said: “The first we heard he was being accused was when a journalist rang an IRSP member on the day of the murders to ask if it was true. I rang Dessie and he was in a convent outside Dublin. That’s where he told me he was. I am sure it was true.”

Gallagher says O’Hare did meet Hyland in prison. Security sources say that the drug dealer sent O’Hare money on his release from jail, but they put this down to an effort by Hyland to buy friends.

“Dessie met all sorts of people in jail but I would be very surprised if he involves himself in illegal activity,” Gallagher said. “Apart from anything else, he was released on licence under very strict conditions. He knows the Irish government would return him to prison if he gives any excuse or reason to do so.”

Under the terms of his licence, O’Hare must not mix with criminals or give press interviews. As a result he has not been able to deny in person the allegations that newspapers have made against him since his release.

O’Hare has worked with a number of religious charities as a result of contacts made through a nun who visited him in jail and campaigned for his release.

One religious group he has been helping is the Brothers of Charity in Galway. Patrick McGinley, the group’s director of services, said that last month O’Hare acted in a volunteer support role on a retreat for adults with learning difficulties.

McGinley said: “The Brothers of Charity sought and received three written references about Mr O’Hare. On foot of these three references Mr O’Hare acted in a volunteer support role on November 21, 22 and 23 as part of a pastoral care project. This work was fully supervised at all times by our experienced permanent staff.”

O’Hare was described by a person associated with the retreat as “very respectful and helpful” and it is understood that there were no problems related to his involvement.

Gallagher said that O’Hare has been to Lourdes “a few times” with handicapped children’s groups. “Even in jail, he said he would like to work with disadvantaged kids.”

Dessie O’Hare has a home in Moycullen, Co Galway, and also stays in a religious community near Dublin and visits his wife Clare and daughter Julie who live near Keady in Co Armagh.

One of the most notorious figures to emerge from the Troubles, O’Hare, 50, once boasted that he had killed 26 people in a paramilitary career that spanned the Provisional IRA, freelance terrorist activity in his native Co Armagh, and the INLA.

He and two accomplices were jailed in 1987 for the kidnapping and torture of John O’Grady, a millionaire dentist from Dublin. After ransom demands were not met O’Hare cut off two of O’Grady’s fingers with a hammer and chisel.

O’Grady escaped after a gun battle between the kidnappers and gardai. O’Hare received a 40-year sentence and was considered so dangerous that he was not released as part of the Good Friday agreement. He was released on licence last April and there has since been speculation that he is hanging around with Dublin criminals.

Art Hostage comments:

The best way for Mr Dessie O'Hare to demonstrate his sincerity is to facilitate the Stolen Vermeer from Boston being discovered in a confession box.

He clearly has connections to the Catholic Church and so i challenge Mr O'Hare to use his undoubted ability to see this happens sooner rather than later.

Within these turbulent times for the Irish Republican movement, what better way to reach out across the ocean, to America, a hand of friendship, showing grateful appreciation for the support of Irish Republicans during the Struggle, than for Dessie O'Hare and General Thomas Slab Murphy to be the chosen ones to send the Missive, (Vermeer's, "The Concert")

Sunday Life Home > News

RIRA Rambos!

By Chris Anderson and Stephen Gordon
17 December 2006

Dissident republicans are planning a spectacular 'ram raid' style attack on the security forces in south Armagh using an armoured van.

The Army has been hunting for the armour-plated van for the past fortnight on the back of intelligence that dissidents are planning to use it to force a mobile patrol vehicle off the road and launch a gun attack on the occupants.

Security sources say the van was moved into the area several weeks ago and believe it has been reinforced with metal panels to the front and sides.

"We need to find this van before it's used in any attack. We know it has been modified for an attack," said one source.

"Dissidents are flexing their muscles at the minute and all they need is to get lucky once. If they pull this off it will be a big boost to their morale."

The sources refused to rule out the possibility that hardliner Dessie O'Hare is involved in the 'ram raid' attack plan.

Following his release from jail earlier this year the ex-INLA terrorist - known as the Border Fox - has reportedly aligned himself with dissident republicans in south Armagh.

"Dessie O'Hare has a track record of this type of attack. In his INLA days he used a mechanical digger in a gun attack on the security forces," said a source.

"He is a diehard republican who is capable of anything."

It was reported last week that convicted kidnapper O'Hare was suspected of involvement in a gangland double-murder in Dublin, although the claims have been rubbished by a representative of O'Hare.

The security forces are currently on a heightened state of alert in the south Armagh area and there has been increased military helicopter activity in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, victims' group FAIR claims there are insufficient police officers in south Armagh to deal with the current dissident republican threat.

FAIR spokesman Willie Fraser said: "Dissident Republicans must be stopped in their tracks.

"At the minute Republicans can operate at will because there aren't enough PSNI officers on the ground. The rule of law must be applied in south Armagh before there is further loss of life."

Freed Provos are gangland 'guns for hire'



FORMER Provisional IRA men freed under the Good Friday Agreement are selling terrorist expertise to Dublin and Limerick criminal gangs, creating the most serious security crisis in the State since the IRA ceasefire in 1994.

Dublin Garda sources say organised crime has now reached its worst ever levels.

With further killings expected, high visibility armed patrols - involving gardai wearing body armour and carrying sub-machinguns - will, for the first time, be on duty over Christmas.

Gangland crime is again so serious that the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, will hold a crisis meeting with Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy and Deputy Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy tomorrow. They will discuss the deployment of resources in the short to medium-term, the tightening of bail procedures and the need for speedier trials.

There is great public anger that 23 of the 24 known close associates of slain crime boss Martin 'Marlo' Hyland were on bail when he was murdered on Tuesday.

There was public revulsion when Hyland's killers also murdered an innocent young plumber, Anthony Campbell, who had witnessed the attack.

Hyland was known to be linked to the Provisional IRA, although the Taoiseach has said he does not believe the IRA was directly involved in his murder.

Gardai have indicated to Government that additional support staff is necessary to free officers on the ground


from subsequent office-bound duties; extra staff are also needed in the courts system to allow cases come to trial quicker.

But the current application of the bail laws, in particular, will be top of the agenda on Monday. In a 1996 referendum, provision was made for the courts to refuse bail to a person charged with a serious offence where it was reasonably considered necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence.

Judges, however, are not taking a consistent line on the outcome of that referendum, something which is causing great concern at the heart of Government. Mr McDowell has criticised "soft judges" allowing hardened criminals out on bail despite strong Garda objections. Mr Conroy has said he supports the minister's views.

Although they have not yet publicly responded, judges do intend to make their views known "in their own time in their own way".

The discussions tomorrow between the country's most senior politicians and Garda will examine what gardai, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the judiciary can reasonably do to resolve this situation.

Public demand for immediate action is reflected in a Sunday Independent telephone poll of 500 homes, which has found an overwhelming majority (96 per cent) want the non-jury Special Criminal Court to deal with organised criminal gangs, with just 4 per cent opposed.

Indeed, the public is showing little appetite for the niceties of current due process. A significant 75 per cent would support the use of administrative detention orders, effectively internment, suggested by Fine Gael, and used in the Netherlands, to keep petty dealers off the streets while they are being investigated; only 25 per cent would oppose such an initiative.

The Sunday Independent can reveal that there have been at least seven attempted murders in the north-inner city in the last 13 months. Another criminal, Gerard Byrne, 26, was shot dead at the Irish Financial Services Centre on Wednesday.

The manner of Byrne's murder has also given rise to suspicions that a hired assassin was responsible. He was shot dead with a single round to the back of the head, and then shot a further four times, reminiscent of two assassinations carried out by a former republican-turned-assassin in the border area.

This assassin shot dead former INLA boss Dominic McGlinchey's wife Mary at her home in Dundalk, Co Louth in 1987 and subsequently shot another ex-INLA man, 'Mad' Nicky O'Hare, also in Dundalk in 2000.

Gardai now believe that paramilitary links to criminality in Dublin continues with a former 'officer commanding' of the Dublin IRA who still has access to armaments. The former 'OC' was stood down at the start of 2004 after Justice Minister Michael McDowell highlighted Provisional IRA involvement in hijackings and other major crimes in the Dublin Port area.

However, gardai say the man is surrounded by former IRA associates and has links to criminality, including drug and cigarette smuggling.

His predecessor as Dublin IRA 'OC' is now based in Alicante, from where he is using former IRA supply routes to ship drugs and cigarettes - often accompanied by weapons - to Dublin crime gangs.

One man in his late 40s, who was serving a long sentence on explosives-related charges - and who was released under the Good Friday Agreement - is also closely associated with one of the city's biggest heroin gangs.

This ex-prisoner organises 'muscle' for the drugs gang which is run by a younger, close relative, who had connections with Sinn Fein in Dublin, but was not known as an IRA member.

This man dropped his political connections as his drugs operations grew. However, his gang has links to both major criminals and other former republicans now involved in crime. Gardai say their link to the IRA has caused other gangs to stay clear of their operations, which mainly involve supplying heroin in bulk to smaller gangs.

Another Belfast man, now in his 50s - also released under the Good Friday Agreement - has been linked to some of the so-called tiger kidnappings, in which families are held hostage while key-holders are brought to post offices, banks or business premises where money is held.

His gang was responsible for the tiger kidnapping in Rochestown, Co Cork, in May last year in which a businessman and his family were held hostage. Two men were caught at the scene when the family was freed, but the Belfast man escaped. He was later arrested and questioned, but released for lack of evidence.

In the North, PSNI sources report that a considerable number of ex-republican and loyalist prisoners have become heavily involved in crime there, and are exclusively responsible for a rise of extortion rackets.

A recent PSNI report stated: "Typical demands are in the region of £50-£100 a month for small retail outlets, £1,000-£10,000 for small businesses and private individuals and there is no upper limit for demands on larger companies."

Another senior figure, who recently left the IRA in protest at Sinn Fein's proposals to support the PSNI and join the Northern Ireland Police Board, is running a massive tax evasion scam in the building industry in the North, the Republic and Britain.

Gardai continue to investigate claims that some less senior, but more militarily experienced ex-IRA men have also been hiring their services. A number of feud-related killings have shown levels of expertise previously unknown among Dublin criminals.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dublin Vermeer "Lady Writing a Letter With Her Maid"Targeted By Viper, for Fourth Time

An Artful Dodge
In Ireland, one splendid art collection keeps getting robbed. But the colorful crooks aren't just in it for the money

It was just past six on the cold morning of Sept. 29 when the dark green Mitsubishi Pajero off-roader pulled up at the back of Russborough House, a Palladian mansion outside the town of Blessington in County Wicklow, Ireland. At least three men wearing balaclavas and hooded sweatshirts affixed a plank to the back of the vehicle to turn it into a makeshift battering ram, then ran it in reverse up some steps and into one of the great windows of the 250-year-old house, shattering the glass and the shutters behind. Eleven paintings were hanging on the walls of the saloon inside, but the gang settled for five, including two by Rubens — Portrait of a Dominican Monk and Venus Supplicating Jupiter. Caught on video-surveillance cameras, the job was done in just 50 seconds, and the thieves made their getaway at speed, driving across three fields before hitting the open road.

There was no need to hurry. Russborough House's sole security guard was in another wing of the house — and anyway, he is in his seventies and would never have been a match for the thieves. The nearest police station, 4 km away in Blessington, is closed at night. And the district patrol car on duty was based in Baltinglass, 26 km away. By the time the police arrived the gang was long gone.

As if all of that wasn't embarrassing enough, this was the fourth time in 28 years that Ireland's best-known private art collection had been robbed. It belongs to the Beit family, which inherited 150 paintings — along with other objets d'art, antique furnishings and books — from Otto Beit, co-founder of the De Beers diamond-mining company. Deirdre Rowsome, administrator of Russborough House, claims the building has "a very sophisticated, up-to-date security system, but the house is in a rural area and it is open to the public. If a gang is really determined to rob the house, it is very difficult to deal with them." Security was being reviewed at the time of the robbery.

What's especially intriguing about the last two heists is that the thieves never intended to fence the artworks for money. The paintings were meant to serve as bargaining chips; senior police sources say that the gang hoped to trade them for lesser charges when caught on other criminal operations.

The thieves were following a tradition going back to the very first heist at Russborough House, in 1974. That caper, pulled off by a Provisional i.r.a. gang, was led by Rose Dugdale, an English millionaire's daughter turned republican rebel. The gang did want some money — over $200,000, according to the ransom note — but its real objective was to trade the paintings for the release of Dolours and Marion Price, sisters who were jailed for life on explosives charges and were on hunger strike in London's Brixton jail. The Dugdale gang took 19 paintings, including a Goya, a Vermeer and a Gainsborough. But their caper quickly came unstuck. Five paintings were found two weeks later in a wardrobe in a house in County Cork which Dugdale had rented. The rest were found rolled up in the boot of a Morris Minor which she had borrowed from her landlord. Dugdale, who was sentenced to 11 years in jail, now works in Dublin with a support group for former prisoners. She refuses to discuss the robbery, which made her a household name in Ireland.

If Rose Dugdale seemed a character out of a B-movie, the next gangster to target Russborough House actually inspired two feature films about his life and crimes. Dublin crime boss Martin Cahill — a.k.a. the General — had the posthumous privilege of being portrayed by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey in the thinly fictionalized Ordinary Decent Criminal, released in 2000. (Two years earlier, Brendan Gleeson played the title role in The General.) The real-life Cahill was Ireland's most colorful crook. Fat and balding, he had a passion for pigeons, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and two Dublin sisters by whom he fathered nine children.

Cahill's gang arrived in Russborough House one night in May 1986; they cut a small pane of glass out of a French window, and entered the house to set off the alarm. They then retreated and hid in the bushes, until the gardaí — as Ireland's policemen are known — had come and gone, believing it was a false alarm. An hour later the thieves went back inside and took 18 paintings from the walls.

Like Dugdale's, Cahill's Russborough House caper may have had more than a commercial motive. Retired detective Gerry O'Carroll, who was in the police unit that carried out surveillance on the General, believes Cahill wanted to embarrass the Irish government. "He hated the State because of what happened to him as a child in [reform] school," O'Carroll says. "He had been beaten like an animal, and abused. Carrying out a 'spectacular' was his revenge." But the heist proved to be Cahill's undoing. He hooked up with the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force to get rid of the paintings — and that made him an I.R.A. target. He was killed in 1994, the victim of the last official i.r.a. assassination before the Good Friday peace treaty. All but two of the paintings Cahill stole were recovered.

The next man to loot Russborough House is believed by senior police sources to have been Martin Foley — known as the Viper, and one of Cahill's most loyal lieutenants. In a June 2001 raid, his gang took two paintings: Bellotto's View of Florence and Gainsborough's Madame Baccelli. It was the third time these paintings had been lifted. The gardaí believe the Viper, who is still at large, masterminded the theft for insurance purposes — to trade the art for his freedom. Former officers say such negotiations are not uncommon. "Deals are done all the time, let's be honest about it," says O'Carroll. "The Beit paintings are stolen for bargaining chips. [The thieves] know that they can't offload them, but when they are caught with drugs, or are facing charges on armed robbery, they can use the paintings for bartering. It's an Irish form of plea bargaining." In September the police recovered the paintings from a house in South Dublin. A portrait by Rubens, stolen in Cahill's raid, had turned up in a house in North Dublin a month earlier. The gardaí would not officially say if these finds were the result of tipoffs during plea bargaining.

The September robbery remains something of a mystery. Some gardaí believe the deal struck for the return of the last paintings soured and the Viper's gang hit Russborough House again in revenge. A second theory is that another gang was responsible, and the police are now investigating a number of criminals who could have been behind the raid.

Last Monday, a 45-year-old Dublin woman, Rose Quinn, appeared at a district court on charges of handling two paintings, worth €2.6 million, taken in the third Russborough robbery. Quinn had been arrested after leaving another courthouse where her son Ian was sentenced to 10 years in jail for his role in an attempted bank robbery. Outside the courthouse, Quinn swore her innocence. "I've done nothing wrong," she said. "I give you my word." But it may be that the Russborough House saga is about to take another bizarre turn.

Art Hostage comments:
Martin "The Viper" Foley offered these paintings back to Irish Authorities, and he showed good faith by facilitating their return.

However, the deal negotiated between Irish Police and Foley soured because Irish Police acted in a dishonest manner, thereby provoking Foley to order the last raid on Russborough House.

Rose Quinn was cleared of any indictments and the Mexican stand-off continues.

Vermeer, Viper, Venom !!

Martin Foley does have plans, if provoked by Irish Police, to set up a robbery of the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and the target is, yes you've guessed it, Vermeer's "Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid"

This (Beit)Vermeer hangs in its new home, The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, in a place that would make it easy to steal, during a distraction, and the thief will make good his getaway by motor cycle across Dublin before Irish Police have time to react.

Then we will have the situation whereby Two first-rate Vermeer's are being held by the Underworld.

To those who may doubt the plausibility of the current plan to recover the stolen Vermeer from Boston, take note of this historical use of high value stolen art as a bargaining counter.

If there are delays in the recovery of the Stolen Vermeer from Boston, via a confession box, it is because authorities are dragging their feet, hoping that the delay will allow the Vermeer to surface without benefits, post recovery.

As soon as the go-ahead is given to General Thomas Slab Murphy that his tax demand will be written off, Vermeer's "The Concert" will appear.

I realise this will leave a bad taste in the mouth for some people, and quite rightly so, society does not want to encourage further high value, high profile art thefts.

However, The Gardner case is unique for many reasons.

, the statute of limitations has run out so there will not be any charges bought against those who were the original thieves.

, and as a matter of public record, the Boston D.A. Office has agreed to immunity in this case.

Third, this deal requires no money to be paid by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to those who stole or have handled the Gardner art.

The Gardner Art Heist was committed by guys trying to use the art to have one of their INLA friends released from Jail, not forgetting Patrick Nee. When the FBI would not agree to this the original thieves sold the Gardner art to Joseph Murray for $300,000. Joseph Murray also tried in vain to use the Gardner art as a bargaining counter but was unable to reach a deal, the FBI was intending to sting Joseph Murray.

After Joseph Murray was shot to death by his wife the Gardner art was split up and some made its way to Ireland's West coast, Spiddal, Galway and Fanore, West Clare, Whitey Bulger was also at these locations, posing as a retired Doctor.

Because of the publicity surrounding the Gardner case certain Irish Republican godfathers were convinced by ***** to take control of the Gardner art and use the Gardner art as a bargaining counter for political purposes.

The sectarian prosecution of General Thomas Slab Murphy has proved an opportunity to allow the Stolen Vermeer from Boston to surface, via a confession box, (Symbolism of Absolution)

Martin "The Viper" Foley "Making Mischief"

What Next, A Job Guarding
The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin ??

Part-time force gets first taste of mean streets

GARDA (Irish Police) reservists took to the streets of our major cities for the first time last night - for on-the-job training.

The part-timers went out on patrol with their full-time colleagues to familiarise themselves with their districts.

A total of 37 reservists will be on the streets from this week as part of 'phase 4' of their training programme.

A dozen each have been assigned to Pearse Street and Store Street stations in Dublin while seven are being deployed at Anglesea Street in Cork, four at Mill Street in Galway and one in Sligo.

The 37 are due to graduate as fully fledged reservists from the Garda College in Templemore in the middle of next month.

Interviews are currently under way for the next batch of reservists, who are due to be assigned to stations in Dublin, Kerry, Limerick and Clare, and training will begin in January.

More than 7,000 applications for a reserve post have been received so far, ranging from bank officials to retired public servants such as prison officers and teachers.

Even notorious criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley expressed an interest but his application was quickly rejected.

The reservists, who joined their stations yesterday evening, were immediately introduced to the staff on duty and then taken out in patrol cars.

The Garda Representative Association, which led the opposition to the concept of a reserve force, is currently balloting its members on whether it should accept the terms of a national pay deal, which includes a commitment to the reserve as part of a modernisation agenda.

The result of the ballot will be known before the end of the month but it is expected that the rank and file gardai will vote in favour.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors last week accepted the pay terms by an overwhelming majority. Acceptance allows the two associations to include co-operation with the reserve force in their submissions on benchmarking.

Government negotiators had warned the gardai they would not qualify for their increases under the national pay deal, Towards 2016, unless they agreed to work with the reservists.

Initially, a GRA delegation walked out of talks on the pay deal and then advised its members not to accept the pay rise.

But internal discussions since then have resulted in a change of tactic as the gardai realised they must accept the reservists or risk breaking the law, while still opposing the concept.

Tanaiste and Justice Minister Michael McDowell yesterday told the gardai that the reserve force did not pose a threat to them but offered a huge bonus if they embraced the idea that there were people out there in the community who wanted to help.

"Right across Ireland we have turned back the tide on cynicism and despair and through the efforts of volunteers this can be done," he added.

In Cork yesterday, the first reservist, a former high ranking prison officer, arrived for duty at Anglesea Street station at 2pm and he will be joined by six

reserve colleagues later in the week.

Tom Brady

Art Hostage comments:

Hmmm, knowing what we do about the Irish Underworld, we can expect a larger number of criminals to apply.

Although most will be rooted out, as with the naughty Viper, who did this as a piss take, I am certain there will be a great number of relatives or associates of current criminals who slip through the net.

The long term outcome of this new Reserve Police Force will be the systematic infiltration of law enforcement on major operations.

I am certain there will be numerous cases in the future regarding corrupt reserve Police officers colluding with criminals.

This blatant attempt at "Policing on the cheap" will backfire spectacularly.

Dublin's gang war in the media
by Patrick Kennelly

Media reports on crime gangs are notoriously unreliable. This is because the two traditional sources for such stories – members of the criminal community and the police force – are themselves unreliable, for both have reasons to use the media to promote agendas. With that "health warning" we report here on what the media have said about the recent gangland wars. By Patrick Kennelly

"Viper"/Gavin/Thompson Gang: Dublin

Martin "Viper" Foley: Linked with both gangs but mentioned as a sympathiser towards the Gavin/Thompson gang (Sunday World, Ireland on Sunday, Sunday Independent).

However, Star Sunday claims he has influence over both gangs yet does not claim allegiance to either side due to fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

"Fat" Freddie Thompson (24): According to the Sunday World, "Fat" Freddie is the leader of the gang who shot dead Noel Roche in Clontarf on Tuesday, 15 November. Thompson was once part of the same gang as Brian Rattigan (leader of the rivals in the ongoing feud). Garda sources say he is their prime suspect in at least a dozen shooting incidents across the city.

Declan Gavin (20): First victim of the feud and one-time leader of the gang. Escaped raid in Holiday Inn drugs seizure that initiated allegations that he was an informant (Sunday Independent). Stabbed to death in Crumlin, 2001.

Darren Geoghegan (26): Suspected murderer of Rattigan gang-member John Roche in March of this year. Shot dead on 13 November by IRA hit men supposedly hired by Rattigan's gang (Sunday World)

Gavin Byrne( 30): Shot dead with Geoghegan in the same car that was parked in Firhouse.

Rattigan Gang:

Brian Rattigan (25): Leader of Rattigan gang although currently serving six (ten, according to Sunday World) year prison sentence for various crimes including drugs and gun charges. Was also charged with the murder of Declan Gavin. Controls his gang via mobile phones and messengers. Narrowly escaped a murder attempt (suspected to have been carried out by the Thompson/Gavin gang) although had spleen removed and lost a kidney three years ago (Sunday World).

Joseph Rattigan (18) : Brother of Brian. Shot dead in July, 2002 (Ireland on Sunday, Sunday World).

John Roche (24) : Major drug dealer wanted by gardaí for attempted murder (Ireland on Sunday). Shot dead in Kilmainham, the murderer is suspected to have been Darren Geoghegan (Ireland on Sunday, Sunday World).

Noel Roche (27): Chief enforcer of Rattigan's gang who was shot dead in Clontarf on 15 November as part of revenge for the double murder of Darren Geoghegan and Gavin Byrne (Ireland on Sunday).

Eddie Rice (32): Escaped a murder attempt when in the same car as Noel Roche the night he was killed. Turned himself in but was released without giving any evidence to gardaí.

1998: Feud begins. Declan Gavin, then an 18 year old who was already involved with petty crime and was making his mark on drug-trafficking, had his bike burned and his family car covered in paint by Derek Lodge. Suddenly two seperate gang factions emerged, one led by Declan Gavin, another led by Joseph Rattigan, who was 16 years old at the time (Sunday Independent). Both gangs began to deal cocaine and their main associate was Martin "Viper" Foley and there was relatively no animosity between them (Sunday World).

3 March, 2000: The event that led to the complete breakdown between the two factions: the Sunday Independent reported that Gavin and one gang member locked themselves into a room at the Holiday Inn hotel on Pearse street in order to "cut" cocaine (breaking down cocaine into powder and then mixed with glucose in order to distribute more to dealers). Gardaí heard of this deal and completed a successful raid on the premises, finding only a 17 year old in the room. Gavin soon emerged on the corridor and was promptly arrested. This led to allegations that Gavin was an informant for the gardaí (he had escaped conviction on a previously successful raid).

25 August, 2001: Declan Gavin is murdered (stabbed) outside a restaurant on Crumlin Road.

17 March, 2002: Brian Rattigan is critically injured when shot a number of times in his home. He loses a kidney and his spleen as a result of the attack. A woman in the house allegedly saw "Fat" Freddie Thompson commit the attack but later denies this to gardaí (Sunday World).

16 July, 2002: 18 year old Joseph Rattigan shot dead by the Gavin/Thompson faction (Sunday World) around the same time his brother Brian was being released from hospital.

May, 2002: An associate of Brian Rattigan, Colm Smith is shot through the cheek and tongue after he answers the door at 3.30 am. Smith survived the attack but refused to talk to gardaí (Sunday World).

2002: "Fat" Freddie Thompson is jailed and serves a sentence for road traffic offences (after being charged with those offences and giving gardaí a false name, aiding the escape of another man from lawful custody), according to the Sunday World.

25 January, 2004: Paul Warren shot dead in Grey's Pub by two men of the Rattigan faction. Subsequently, Brian Rattigan is jailed for a total of ten years for drugs, firearms and violence offences. He is currently serving a four-year stretch for being in possession of €40,000 worth of heroin. Last year, he received another six years for aiming a loaded shotgun at a Garda during a chase. He continues to control his gang from inside Portlaoise prison with the aid of mobile phones and messengers (Sunday World).

9 March, 2005: John Roche, one of Rattigan's men and a major drug dealer, is shot dead outside his apartment in Kilmainham, reportedly by Darren Geoghegan (Ireland on Sunday).

13 November, 2005: Darren Geoghegan and Gavin Byrne, leading members of the Thompson/Gavin faction are murdered by suspected hit-men reportedly hired by Rattigan's gang (Ireland on Sunday).

15 November, 2005: Seen by many as a revenge attack (Sunday World, Sunday Independent), Noel Roche (older brother of John Roche), Brian Rattigan's "chief enforcer" (Ireland on Sunday) is shot dead in Clontarf. His fellow gang member, Eddie Rice, escapes but refuses to tell the Gardaí anything about the killers.

To be continued..................

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Underworld Where the Stolen Vermeer Resides !!

Anger over Irish gangland deaths

INLA Leader Dessie O'Hare, "The Border Fox" left, is the man who holds the key to the Stolen Vermeer being recovered. His access to the Irish Global Criminal Underworld gives him the edge and ability to convince all parties that it is time to allow the Vermeer to surface, via a confessional box.

Currently, Dessie O'Hare resides in South Armagh, not far from General Thomas Slab Murphy, (above right).

Together, these two giants of the Irish Republican movement have the ability to convince dissident Irish Republicans to call a ceasefire, and for our purposes, facilitate the Vermeer being discovered in a confession box.

Payment to the current handler of the Vermeer will be made by General Thomas Slab Murphy, via Dessie O'Hare, the Vermeer will surface, General Thomas Slab Murphy gets his $20 million tax demand reduced/written off and is allowed to retire gracefully, good old Malachy McAllister gets political asylum in America, the Irish Govt gets an amount of Green cards for Irish illegals living in the U.S.

Sinn Fein have already been given fundraising rights in America as a sign of goodwill, Dessie O'Hare has been released from jail, the rest of the plan is coming together.

From a moral standpoint, the benefits of this deal is no reward is paid by the Isabella Stewart Museum to those involved in the theft or subsequent handling, ending this sorry saga once and for all.

In the Meantime, Back to Irish Underworld Gang Warfare
Five violent killings in six days in the Irish Republic have piled pressure on the Irish government to take action.

In the latest incident, Gerard Byrne, 25, was shot dead near the city's financial district at about 2100 GMT on Wednesday. He was well-known to police.

Tanaiste Michael McDowell said that a lack of policing resources was not to blame and "all the arms of democracy" were needed to combat violent crime.

Opposition parties want Mr McDowell, who is minister for justice, to resign.

Politicians are calling for a similar response to that which followed the wave of revulsion over the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.

Jim O'Keeffe of the opposition Fine Gael party said that law and order had broken down and Ireland was in a virtual state of national emergency.

Violent deaths

The upsurge in violent deaths has seen four other people killed in the last six days.

Last Friday, postmaster Alan Cunniffe was shot dead in Kilkenny, while on Tuesday evening, Dundalk man Aidan Myers was killed outside the town as an armed gang went on a cross-border crime rampage.

Earlier on the same day, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland, 39, believed to be a major drug dealer, was shot dead, along with Anthony Campbell, an apprentice plumber.

The innocent 20-year old happened to be working in the house in Finglas, County Dublin, where Hyland was staying, and is believed to have been shot once after answering the door to the killers.

In parliament on Wednesday, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was forced to defend efforts being made to combat organised crime.

Mr Ahern said that the success of the Gardai's Operation Oak - which aimed to stop Hyland's criminal activities - was the reason he was killed by gunmen who were believed to be former associates.

'There is no doubt that as a result of Garda operations, the net was tightening around Martin Hyland and he was losing grip of his criminal activities.

"Many of his associates have been arrested - 43 of them - and 24 have already been charged with serious offences.

'The gardai gave me the figures from Oak. They have seized 30kg of heroin, 35kg of cocaine, 1,500kg of cannabis, stolen vehicles, handguns, AK47s, sawn-off shotguns, rifles, ammunition, cash.''

Hyland, who was one of the country's biggest drug dealers, was hit six times in the head and body as he slept in an upstairs bedroom in a relative's house.

Although Hyland was allegedly linked to the IRA, Mr Ahern told the Dail: "I've seen nothing that may suggest that the Provisional IRA was involved."

And rumours that the double murder was carried out by convicted INLA killer Dessie O'Hare, known as the Border Fox,( picture top) were denied by his spokesman.

"From a garda point of view, it will be too early to say exactly who done it, but Dessie O'Hare is absolutely not in any way connected to any type of gangland killings," he said on RTE radio.

"He's been working with the Brothers of Charity in the west of Ireland, he's working with the handicapped, he's been to Lourdes.''

Mr McGarrigle said that under the terms of O'Hare's extended temporary release from prison, where he served a lengthy sentence for kidnapping a Dublin dentist and cutting off parts of his captive's fingers, he will be returned immediately to prison if seen in the company of subversives.


In the latest killing, Gerard Byrne, was shot up to five times in the head outside a shop in the IFSC area, not far from Connolly Station.

The shooting happened at about 2100 GMT on Wednesday.

He had been implicated in a hand grenade attack on a property in north Dublin.

He was arrested a few months ago in Raheny on Dublin's northside when, Gardai believe, he was on his way to commit a murder.

Gardai also believe the killing may be linked to a long-running feud between two north-inner city Dublin families.

Gerard Byrne is known to have taken the side of a woman whom, it is claimed, was raped by a leading underworld figure.

Art Hostage comments:

It is from this world that the Gardner Art will be retrieved.

Dessie O'Hare has been in Limerick lately for discussion's on a number of subjects, not least the return of high value stolen art.

The recent arrests of several Godfathers, Fat Fred Thompson, Anthony Kelly etc means there is somewhat of a sea-change going on with regards leadership of the Irish criminal underworld.

When new Godfathers emerge, Dessie, etc, a new pragmatism will allow the Gardner art to surface.

As to what has been recovered, I await the go-ahead to reveal details.

To be continued.......

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer, Reporter has Breaking News on Gardner Art Heist, Art Hostage

Stolen Vermeer, Gardner art Recovery Latest !!

Newspaper Reporter jets into London with Breaking news on the
Gardner Art Heist !!

Dick Ellis , ex head of Scotland Yards Fine Art Squad, has been contacted by a Mr Burke, a correspondent with the Sunday Times newspaper.

Mr Burke, has just landed in London from New York and has "Vital, crucial, breaking news" about the Gardner art heist.

He intends to interview Dick Ellis and subsequently write an article.

How far this Mr Burke decides to go in revealing the truth will be interesting to say the least.

To be continued.......................

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer, Gardner Art Surfaces !!

World Exclusive Gardner Art Surfaces !!!

Gardner Art Surfaces !!

Art Hostage has learnt that some of the Gardner art has been recovered.

The situation is fluid and details of which artworks have been recovered will follow.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of this sorry saga.

I will answer the following questions as soon as it is safe to do so:

1 What artworks have been recovered?
2 Where were they recovered?
3 What condition are the recovered artworks in?

To be continued.................

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer, Malachy McAllister, INLA, Stolen Vermeer surfaces !!

Stolen Vermeer, Then You Can stay in America, Malachy McAllister !!

Court turns away asylum-seeker

An asylum seeker accused of engaging in terrorist activities in Northern Ireland before moving to Wallington lost his battle Monday to have the Supreme Court review his lawsuit.

Lawyers told the justices that Malachy McAllister and his children, Nicola and Sean, face the likelihood of persecution if they are returned to Northern Ireland, the part of the United Kingdom from which they fled 18 years ago after their home was attacked by paramilitary forces.

McAllister, a bricklayer who runs his own masonry business, said his only hope now is special legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn.

"It's been a long, long process of disappointments and heartache," said McAllister, 49.

McAllister's lawyer, Eamonn Seamus Dornan, said legal options have been exhausted, but that the family is hoping for a "political solution" to keep it in the United States legally.

The Rothman bill, which is pending before the House subcommittee on immigration, border security and claims, would make McAllister, who is a widower, and his children eligible for permanent residency after completing an application for an immigrant visa.

Dornan said he expects the Homeland Security Department to delay any move to deport McAllister while the bill makes its way though the legislative process.

McAllister "has a very dedicated campaign team, and we believe that the congressman's bill is yet to be resolved, and that the Department of Homeland Security will respect that process," he said.

Homeland Security officials could not be reached Monday night.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld immigration rulings to remove McAllister and to dismiss a petition by his children to remain in the United States as moot because their mother died two years ago.

McAllister wanted to challenge the provision in asylum law that denies protection to a person who has engaged in terrorist activities. And in regard to the children's asylum claims and the death of their mother, the family pointed to a Supreme Court ruling that says a case is not rendered moot when a live issue or controversy remains.

In the early 1980s, McAllister became involved in the Irish National Liberation Army, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army. He served time in prison for acting as an armed lookout in the shooting of a police officer and for conspiring to shoot another officer. He has argued that he was a political prisoner.

"Because of the situation in Northern Ireland, there was no real alternative," McAllister told The Record last year.

After his release from prison, his home was raked with gunfire, and his wife was thrown out of a moving vehicle while she was pregnant, his lawyers said in petitioning the Supreme Court for review.

Art Hostage comments:

Mr Malachy McAllister, if you contact your former INLA/IRA friends, INLA Leader Dessie, (the Border Fox), O'Hare in partiqular, and convince them to facilitate the return of the Stolen Vermeer from Boston, via a confessional box, I, Art Hostage have it on good authority, after consulting with senior American political officals, that you and your family will be allowed to stay in the United States for as long as you want.

Malachy, you will get immunity from prosecution in relation to the Gardner Art Heist and subsequent handling of the art, your case can be part of the overall deal that see's the Vermeer surface, in fact I hope you are working to recover the Vermeer as I write.

Your honest intercession in the Gardner Case will be the key that allows you and your family safe haven, political asylum, in America.

Your defense team have asked for a political solution, well here it is, use your influence, the Stolen Vermeer surfaces, you are allowed to stay in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FBI To Join Hunt For Da Vinci !!

FBI steps in to hunt for stolen £50m Madonna

PHIL MILLER, Arts Correspondent

It is one of the Scottish art world's most baffling mysteries – and has now become one of the Federal Bureau of Investigations' most urgent cases.
The FBI's art crime unit, based in Washington DC, has further highlighted the case of Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna with the Yarnwinder, stolen from the Duke of Buccleuch's Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, in 2003.

The case has moved up to seventh on the FBI's art crime most wanted list and its image is prominently displayed on the logo of its art crime unit.
Since the case appeared on the BBC Crimewatch two years ago, no developments have been announced or reported.

The FBI has classified the seriousness of the theft of the masterpiece – worth between £25m and £50m – alongside some of the most expensive and notorious art thefts worldwide, and put it on the list alongside crimes such as the large-scale looting of Iraq after the 2003 war.

During the robbery, on August 27, 2003, two men dressed as tourists taking a public tour of the castle overpowered a young tour guide and stole the painting, painted between 1500 and 1510.
With two accomplices, the men escaped in a white Volkswagen Golf, which was abandoned nearby.

It is understood the men pulled the painting from the staircase hall where it was hanging. It has been speculated the painting may have been damaged in the process, as its frame was removed.
Dumfries and Galloway police issued an appeal for information about a possible second getaway car, a black BMW spotted near Carronbridge that morning.

The FBI established its crime team in 2004. With 12 special agents responsible for investigating art crimes, it is backed up by three special attorneys from the US Department of Justice.

Experts in art theft have said they believe the painting was still somewhere in Scotland, rather than in London or abroad.

Theories of who the robbers are have run from organised crime gangs, to the IRA, to a gang of gypsies.

This week, a police spokesman said investigations were ongoing but had nothing new to add.
Anyone who has any information on the case is asked to contact police at Dumfries on 0845 600 5701.

Art Hostage comments:

Official Warning!!

In order to prevent a gun battle, and the potential loss of life, the gangs who have high value stolen art in their possession,or their control.

(You know who you are, and so does Law enforcement, Gardai, FBI, Scotland Yard Art Squad!!)

Da Vinci stolen from Scotland,£30-50 million

Paintings, including Vermeer stolen from Gardner Museum Boston, St Patrick's day 1990 £300 million

Cezanne stolen from Oxford 2000 £4-6 million

White Duck stolen from Norfolk 1994??
£5 million

Harry Hyams stolen art collection £80 million

Waddesten Manor Rothschild gold boxes.£100million

Henry Moore bronze £3.5 million
Many other stolen high value artworks.

Any attempt to hand back any of these high value art works for any, I repeat any, reward money will result in either arrests, or at the very least not a single dime, penny, euro will be paid.

My advice to you Handlers of High Value Stolen Art is to either hand the artworks back for free, or wrap them up and wait until their is a change of heart and law that will allow these artworks to be handed back in an honest way, without the sting's being planned as we speak.

My warning is because if a sting is carried through there will be a shoot out that could result in innocent people being caught in the crossfire.


"No reward money will ever be paid for stolen high value artworks and anyone who says otherwise is lying."

There are reports of up to £1 million reward offered for the Da Vinci, Mark Dalrymple, who has never stated exactly how much reward, is the loss adjuster on the Da Vinci case, unfortunetly the reward is uncollectable for me.

I was offered the Da Vinci if I put my marker on it for £100,000, then handed it back for the reward, in the same fashion as Charlie Hill recovered the Titian.

I declined, as I intend to stay within the law, however bad those laws are.

Mark Dalrymple told me not to bother as Law enforcement would not sanction any payment of reward monies without arrests and convictions, even then the likelyhood is law enforcement would not sanction a reward payment at all!

When a reward is offered there are the "Subject to" conditions, which concern condition of returned work of art and value, the primary condition is a so-called "COMFORT LETTER" from the police, stating that the person claiming the reward may be paid by the insurers/losers with the express consent of law enforcement. In order for anyone claiming a reward to get a "Comfort Letter" from police they first have to be registered as an "Informant", or "Human Source", as they are now called.

Rules on Registered Informants/Human Sources

Those who wish to destroy their lives and become informants are treated in the following manner.

First the potential Informant/Human Source meets two police officers from the "Source Unit" they only identify themselves by a psydenum such as Dick, or Bill, this prevents any fall back when the Informant gets "Hung out to Dry" The Informant never knows the real identity of his Handling officers.

Second, Police officers always make the following statement to potential Informants:

"You (the Informant) give us everything, we, (Police) give you nothing"

Third, and most importantly, when information is given to the Police by the Informant, they must tell the Police who gave them that information.

The police then duly go to that source and try and recruit that source, negating the previous informant, hence "Hung out to dry".

The Police Officers then bulldoze their way through informants getting information along the way leaving a trail of shattered lives for those who become sewer rats, Informants.

The current life expectencey for an informant is one year, the police will argue that the brief use of informants prevents corruption of its officers.

However, the amount of good quality intelligence recieved by law enforcement has been reduced by 90% in the last two years.

Losing £100,000 wouldn't hurt as much as being arrested for handing back the Da Vinci in good faith!
So, from the horses mouth, the reward for the Da Vinci, is ,uncollectable, Fact!!!!

The 2002 Proceeds of Crime act in Britain has put paid to any hand backs.

Even if someone followed instructions from Law Enforcement and set up those with the Da Vinci, then Law Enforcement arrested those handling the Da Vinci, the informant would not be paid very much and would be "Hung out to Dry" by Law Enforcement once Da Vinci is recovered.

Law Enforcement in Britain are the same as in the U.S., except for a few radical officers, who's hands are tied, the rest, by their own actions are, Dilatory, dishonest, duplicitous, and disingenuous.

Whether in America, Ireland, Europe, those of us trying to honourably facilitate the return of stolen high value art have all come to the conclusion that we will either get exposed to reprisals from criminals, Arrested, or both by Law Enforcement in the present climate.

Until there is a real change of heart, art lovers will be held Art Hostage by the criminals, but especially by Law Enforcement.

To criminals and Law Enforcement alike, if criminals are arrested for trying to hand back high value stolen art or Law Enforcement take casulties, possibly fatal, then they have no-one else to blame but themselves.

You have all been warned !!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Govt Approved Double Dealings Provide Hope Stolen Vermeer is ready to Surface !!

Corrupt American company's link to Sinn Fein $375,000 fundraiser, all part of the Deal, Stolen Vermeer, Please !!


AN Irish EX-PAT founder of a corrupt US building firm has emerged as the main organiser of a fundraising event in New York two weeks ago which raised $375,000 for Sinn Fein, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The fundraising dinner, hosted by Friends of Sinn Fein, was the first such event attended by Gerry Adams since a ban on him raising money in the US was lifted.

The ban was imposed after the IRA murder of Robert McCartney last January and the £26m Northern Bank raid in December 2005, also carried out by the IRA.

The murderers of Mr McCartney remain at large and the Northern Bank raid, while under active investigation, is still unsolved.

Notwithstanding this, about 750 people, paying $500 a plate, attended the Sinn Fein fundraising event at the Sheraton Hotel on November 9, raising about $375,000 for the party.

In Ireland, where many of the major US technology companies are based, Sinn Fein wants to return Capital Gains Tax of 40 per cent from the present level of 12.5 per cent, a move which economic experts warn would do long-term damage to the economy. It also wants to return employer's PRSI to 12 per cent. At present it ranges from 8.5 per cent to 10.75 per cent.

One of the main organisers of the Sinn Fein fundraising event in Manhattan was Pat Donaghy, the founder of New York's third-largest construction firm, Structure Tone, which has revenues of close to €2bn.

"A lot of those attending were there at his invitation," a well-placed source told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Donaghy, originally from Co Tyrone, who emigrated to New York in the late Fifties, is a major financial backer of Sinn Fein. He sold tables for this month's event to many of the companies which do business with his firm. His niece, Pauline Quinn, an IRA member, served time in Maghaberry prison in the North.

Structure Tone formed a central part of a five-year corruption investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney.

The District Attorney found that consultants, brokers, architects and contractors conspired throughout the Nineties to rig bidding for work carried out at some of New York's best-known companies, such as the Sony Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, Bertelsmann AG and Gleacher & Company.

In 1998, in a plea bargain, Structure Tone pleaded guilty to paying a bribe to obtain a $500m contract at the Sony Building at Madison Avenue and 56th Street, according to an article published in the New York Times in 1998.

According to investigators, Structure Tone paid about $2.3m in kickbacks while it worked at the Sony building in the early Nineties. It was one of five construction companies that admitted they participated in a scheme to rig bidding on $2bn worth of renovation work.

Structure Tone pleaded guilty to commercial bribery and agreed to pay $10m in lieu of fines and forfeiture of assets. Hours after pleading guilty, the company issued a statement saying it was a "victim" of the bid-rigging scheme and had merely paid "legitimate sales commissions", a claim that incensed the prosecutors.

Political parties here, particularly Fianna Fail, will seize on today's disclosure should Sinn Fein attempt to make further capital out the main government party's links to property developers in advance of the general election.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams spoke at this month's dinner in the Sheraton Hotel. Last year he was forced to address it via a satellite link from Dublin.

It is thought Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, recommended the ban be lifted despite Sinn Fein's refusal to back the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The lifting of the ban came as Sinn Fein gave conditional support to the timetable for devolution laid out by the Irish and British governments in the St Andrews Agreement.

Last year President Bush delivered a humiliating rebuff to Gerry Adams by inviting the victims of IRA violence to the White House for St Patrick's Day.

The Sinn Fein leader had been hoping for a face-to-face meeting with Mr Bush. Instead, Mr Bush asked the family of Robert McCartney to an intimate gathering where they met the President, Peter Hain, the Northern Secretary, and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This year he invited the McCartneys and the family of Joseph Rafferty.

Art Hostage comments:
Mr Pat Donaghy will certainly be immune from any prosecution regarding the Gardner Art Heist and the subsequent handling of the art, as will others, who live in the United States, when the Vermeer surfaces.

As far back as 2004 Boston D.A. Mike Sullivan issued certain Immunity Agreements to Dick Ellis, Ex-Head of Scotland Yard's Art Squad.

Art Hostageconfirms Pat Donaghy has had nothing to do with the Gardner art Heist, or susequent handling of any artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, however, if he can use his influence and considerable wealth, alongside Thomas Slab Murphy, to help broker the deal that see's the Stolen Vermeer surface via a confessional box, then this should be welcomed.

The pieces of the ***** plan are coming together, watch this space for the wonderful news that the Stolen Vermeer has been recovered.

Below is the current status of the Witchunt against General Thomas Slab Murphy.

I hope observers can accept that in the interests of permanent peace in Ireland, the Stolen Vermeer being recovered, along with the rest of the Gardner Art, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be afforded a "Pass" and allowed to retire gracefully.

The Sunday Times November 26, 2006

General Thomas "Slab" Murphy’s homes are seized in €15m tax probe

Liam Clarke

THOMAS “Slab” Murphy, chief-of-staff of the IRA, together with his family and businesses, faces a tax bill of €15m following a joint investigation by Irish and British investigators.

Last Tuesday the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) froze property worth £1.5m (€2.2m) in Manchester in a bid to stop the Murphy family and their associates selling them to meet part of the bill. ARA sources said that freezing the properties is the start of an operation against Murphy’s interests in Ireland and Britain.

In court in London, the agency alleged that the properties, which consist of 10 houses mainly in the Sale area of Cheshire, are the proceeds of money laundering, fuel smuggling and mortgage fraud. It had been intended to sequester 16 properties, but six had been sold.

The ARA and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) intend to move against further assets in the coming months. These are believed to be located in Dublin, Scotland, London and Kent, as well as Manchester.

The houses subject to the current freezing order were identified from detailed records found by the CAB during a raid on Murphy’s home in Ballybinaby, Co Louth, last March. The records, which were colour-coded and kept in ledgers, were hidden in Murphy’s barn.

Alan McQuillan, who heads the ARA in Northern Ireland, said the case had been referred from the London Metropolitan Police. It had told the ARA that Francis Murphy, Slab’s brother, and his wife Judy were directors of Sailor Property. It has since been renamed FTM Properties with an address in Britannia Road, Manchester.

Simultaneously, the gardai had been taking an interest in Brian Pepper, 32, an Irish-born businessman from Sale, who travelled frequently to Louth and is the company secretary of Sailor Property. He is said to have assisted with investment decisions.

Colin Farrelly, Judy Murphy’s brother, is also a director of FTM but is not accused of any criminality. Another property, owned by Julian Dowe, an alleged associate of Murphy’s, was also subject to a freezing order.

In October 2005 the ARA raided the offices of Dermot Craven, a well-known figure in the Manchester property scene, and seized thousands of papers that are still being studied by forensic accountants.

Several people have been interviewed over the past year. At the time Craven said that Francis and Judy Murphy were his clients, but denied any wrongdoing.

As a result of the raid, Slab issued a press statement through his solicitors in which he denied any links to the Craven property group. “I do not own any property and in fact had to sell my own home some years ago to cover legal fees following an unsuccessful libel case . . . I make a living from farming,” Murphy stated.

The libel case was against The Sunday Times over a report stating he was an IRA leader who had organised murders and bombings. He lost and still owes the newspaper £600,000 (€886,000) in legal fees.

This was the first time Murphy admitted to having an occupation or disposing of property. It was discussed at a cross-border security conference in Clontarf Castle shortly after it was issued and gave the impetus to a joint CAB, Garda Siochana and Police Service of Northern Ireland raid on the Murphy homestead in Ballybinaby in March.

This raid led to the subsequent freezing of assets in Manchester. A source close to the investigation said: “There are entries in the documentation seized in the Murphy family searches that appear to link in with the purchases of properties in Manchester.

“They use abbreviations, but the abbreviations appear to match up with addresses in Manchester that we believe they have purchased.”

£1m 'criminal' assets are frozen
Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 17:37 GMT BBC

More than £1m worth of property in Manchester belonging to a brother of an alleged IRA leader has been frozen.

Nine properties belong to Francis and Judy Murphy of County Louth. Francis Murphy is a brother of Thomas Murphy, alleged to be the IRA's chief of staff.

The Assets Recovery Agency claimed the properties were bought using the proceeds of money laundering and fuel smuggling.

It has been looking into the purchase of 250 properties worth more than £30m.

The agency has now been granted a High Court order to freeze 10 residential properties.

The other property, worth £450,000, belongs to a Manchester-based businessman.

Thomas Murphy's farm, which straddles the border, was also raided as part of the agency's investigation.

In its application to the High Court, the agency alleged that Mr and Mrs Murphy built their property portfolio on "wealth derived from money laundering and fuel smuggling in Ireland".

The nine properties subject to the order are mainly in the Trafford and Stretford areas of Manchester.

These include two houses owned by Judy Murphy, worth £70,056 and £188,071 each, plus a further seven properties registered to Francis and Judy Murphy's property firm, Sailor Property (UK) Ltd, Britannia Road, Manchester, which changed its name to FTM Properties (UK) Limited in August 2006.

These include four flats - one worth £119,200, two worth £109,200 and one worth £111,300.

Records seized

There are a further three houses worth £185,000, £128,000 and £109,100. The equity in these properties is about £381,000.

The freezing order means the properties cannot be sold while the investigation continues.

If the agency proves they were bought using the proceeds of crime, it will then sell the properties and keep the money.

The court action follows searches made throughout the Manchester area in October 2005 in which the agency seized more than 350,000 records.

Since then the agency has carried out a large scale forensic exercise, further searches and a number of interviews in the Manchester area.

CAB can't trace Slab's millions


A CAB investigation into the finances of the former IRA chief of staff, Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, has failed to find the rest of his reputed millions, six months after seizing €1m in cash and cheques from his border farm. Despite exhaustive investigations into a warren of bank accounts in Ireland, Britain and the continent, not a penny more of the IRA chief's fabled riches have been traced.

Sources close to CAB said the IRA boss had no money in his bank accounts, apart from legitimate income which he earned from cattle farming.

An investigation into an alleged €10m property portfolio in Britain is also unlikely to trace assets back to Murphy, according to the source.

Murphy was suspected of being the beneficial owner of a string of properties in Manchester. But investigators with CAB's British equivalent, the Assets Recovery Agency, cannot link the properties, owned by a relative, directly to the IRA boss.

Gardai suspected Murphy made a fortune from smuggling cattle, oil and cigarettes across the border, which straddles his farm in Ballabinnaby, Co Louth. He was served with a €5.3m tax assessment after they raided his farm earlier this year and smashed an illegal oil-laundering operation. At the time, gardai said that initial assessment could go higher, as they anticipated unravelling his finances.

Tracing his assets has proved more difficult than the CAB thought. The asset-seizing agencies in Ireland and Britain were investigating the ownership of 250 houses - plus a dozen in Louth - which they said were linked to Murphy. In an unusual move, Murphy issued a statement denying he owned any property in Manchester, and said he even had to sell his own home to pay legal fees following a failed libel action.

Meanwhile, Back in the Republic of Ireland

Murphy's flaw!
'Slab' kept detailed ledgers for IRA's criminal empire - and they're now in hands of authorites following raid...
19 November 2006

The IRA's multi-million pound border crime empire has been laid bare - in handwritten ledgers seized from the home of top Provo Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

Precise details of massive smuggling and counterfeit operations are contained in the records found during a joint PSNI-Garda raid on Murphy's farm in March.

They pinpoint how the IRA sold millions of pounds of illegal goods to members and criminals for distribution.

Officers from the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau can hardly believe their luck at finding the meticulously kept ledgers, which give the clearest insight ever into the Provos' racketeering empire.

The discovery is likely to cause embarrassment to Gerry Adams who earlier this year claimed Murphy was "not a criminal".

One source said of the ledgers: "It is an old-fashioned book-keeping method that may reflect the age or the generation of the person who maintained it. But it is immaculate and is very easy to follow.

"In simple terms, purchases or smuggled goods of one type are colour-coded and they turn up in the same colour code when they are sold on at a profit.

"Diesel has one colour code, petrol another and cigarettes another. These are immaculately maintained records which will enable the Criminal Assets Bureau to levy a tax bill of maybe £5m against Murphy."

The records clearly indicate the cost of goods brought into the IRA's 'stores' and the price received for the contraband goods when they were offloaded on both sides of the border.

They reveal how the goods came into the IRA's possession and were then sold on to its members and criminals for distribution.

The majority of the transactions show smuggled fuel being ferried from the Republic into the IRA's control around Murphy's farm at Ballybinaby, which straddles the Armagh/Louth border.

The records were seized earlier this year when 200 soldiers and cops accompanied customs officers to carry out a major search of the property belonging to Murphy, a former IRA chief-of-staff.

Officials from the Republic's Criminal Assets Bureau and personnel from the Customs and Excise Department were accompanied by gardai as they entered the property from the southern side of the border.

Two laptop computers concealed among bales of hay in a barn were located during the search, but sources say the handwritten ledgers provide the most detailed insight into the IRA's criminal operation.

Senior officials in the CAB in Dublin are understood to be delighted at the precise book-keeping details recorded in the ledgers.

Because they're handwritten and not formulated on a computer, handwriting experts may be able to pinpoint the identity of the person who maintained the records, and tie them into the IRA's crime operations.

That could lead to a membership charge or a more serious terrorist charge being brought by the Garda.

In a stout defence of Murphy after the raids, Mr Adams described him as "not a criminal" and went on to say he was "a key supporter of the Sinn Fein peace strategy".

Mr Adams also said that smuggling was wrong and that his party supported the pursuit of criminal assets.

But that praise for Murphy could backfire on Mr Adams when the CAB goes to the High Court in Dublin to demand millions from him in unpaid taxes, and lay bare the criminal, financial empire Murphy has controlled for the IRA for over two decades.

Art Hostage says: It is not only Gerry Adams in the frame, Johnathon Powell said at the 2001 Labour Party Conference, and I quote, "We (Brit govt) figured back in 97, allowing a few "Uneducated Micks, (South Armagh IRA Brigade) to smuggle contriband across the border will prevent the "Devil finding work for idle hands"

"The British Army, if confronted by an IRA Soldier, would prefer him to pull a carton of smuggled cigarettes out of his holdall, rather than an AK47"

Well Johnathon," Curly Bonce", Powell, you have underestimated the ability of the Irish and now there is a Billion, yes billion dollar empire created by the skill and tenacity of the South Armagh brigade.

Instead of this witchunt, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be allowed to retire gracefully.

This is so vindictive and counter productive it makes me wonder if the Brit and Irish govt's really want closure on the Irish conflict.

Thomas Slab Murphy's continued support for the peace process is vital, especially as there is real dissent coming from mainstream Irish Republican quarters.

Pulling the tail of the Celtic Tiger, (Tom Slab Murphy) will only provoke a negative response from those loyal and will add nothing to the peace process.

Instead why not "Ride the Celtic Tiger" allowing the peace process to finally put an end to any, I repeat any Irish Republican armed action.

Thomas Slab Murphy should be given another role, that of peacemaker between the dissident Irish Republican groups and mainstream Irish Republicanism, his talents should not be underestimated.

Furthermore, when the Stolen Vermeer from Boston surfaces via a confessional box, I will be the first to give credit where it is due.

The Sunday Times November 19, 2006

Gallagher: Adams death threat is bogus
Liam Clarke
A LEADING republican dissident has dismissed claims that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are under a death threat as “bogus”. The two Sinn Fein leaders had claimed that the threat against them came from disaffected IRA members and elements of the INLA.

Willie Gallagher, a former INLA prisoner who has been in talks with other republican groups, described their claims as “rubbish”. He said: “I believe that someone in Sinn Fein has concocted this to divert people away from the party’s internal problems with the PSNI. It is designed to get the troops to rally round the leadership during this ‘great time of danger’ and stifle political criticism.”

Adams and McGuinness aired their fears of a death threat at a Sinn Fein press conference in Belfast last Monday. Adams said that the two leaders and Gerry Kelly had stepped up their personal security as a result.

It is understood Adams had raised the same issue in recent weeks in meetings with Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary, with the Irish government and with Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI chief constable.

Adams claimed the threat emanated from “a handful of disaffected IRA people” who may have linked up with “members of republican micro groups and some members of the INLA”. He continued: “I would say to republicans out there who have concerns about the present political situation that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated or to have their concerns exploited by those who have very, very narrow cul-de-sac agendas.”

Later McGuinness said the threats had “become more serious, as a debate within Sinn Fein has opened up on the issue of ending political policing”.

The PSNI has not warned the Sinn Fein leadership of any threat and Michael McDowell, the Irish justice minister, said he is not aware of one either.

Gallagher believes that Adams and McGuinness are referring to a programme of meetings which had involved Real IRA supporters, members of Sinn Fein and members of the IRSP, the political wing of the INLA. He said that a larger and more public meeting was planned to be held before Christmas.

The former INLA prisoner accused the Sinn Fein leaders of trying to “negate and stifle any type of debate by vilifying us as collaborators and assassins so that nobody will have anything to do with us”.

Gallagher added: “I have attended every meeting and there has been no discussion of any kind of military actions or campaign. What we have discussed is the political capitulation of Sinn Fein.

“There is not a chance in the world of the INLA ceasefire being broken. I do not see any role for armed struggle at the present time and we are absolutely opposed to anyone from Sinn Fein being killed.”

Art Hostage comments:

I must say Mr Gallagher does have a point. Ever since the early ceasefires back in the Ninties the INLA has been treated terribly, its members, who were eligible for parole, were denied this, as other paramilitaries were released, they have been outcast simply because of their Marxist, Socialist doctrine.

Instead of marginalising the INLA they should be utilised to help broker a complete Irish Republican ceasefire, this incessant pulling the tails of Celtic Tigers is becoming juvinille and prevents a genuine attempt at finally ending all military action by all Irish Republican groups.

So, we have two out of three sincere bedrock Irish Republicans, Thomas Slab Murphy and Wille Gallagher, they can be joined by Phil Flynn, to close the deal.

There is nothing worse than wasted talent, especially when that talent can achieve monumental political change.

I am sure Bertie Ahearn, Phil Flynn and the CEO of Slab's secret company Harcourt will lobby on behalf of Thomas Slab Murphy, to allow him to retire gracefully, I mean, they have been secret admirers and subserviant minions who have feasted at the Thomas Slab Murphy table of Irish Republicanism historically, so, now that the music is about to stop, make sure Slab has a Chair.

Anything less will be an attempt to "Airbrush" history and be a case of persecution that will be another stain on the history of the Republic of Ireland.

Wille Gallagher should also be afforded the chance to prove his credentials, just as Bobby Storey has assimilated into his new role.

If Wille Gallagher has the ability to play a political role, then allow him the oportunity.

This blatent persecution and sectarian prosecution of Thomas Slab Murphy and family, comes at the same time as the Brit govt are about to make payment of $60 million to the UDA, Loyalist paramiltaries, for them to stop criminality and paramiltary involvement.

I want America to know of this Double Standard and continued persecution and sectarian prosecution of Irish Republicans.

Without the likes of General Thomas Slab Murphy, there would be no peace process.

Upon another note, which Catholic Church Confessional box contains the stolen Vermeer?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer On The Brink of Recovery !

Stolen Vermeer On the Brink of being Recovered

FBI refuses to comment on art investigation,.

The FBI has refused to comment on claims that a team of agents is coming to Galway in a bid to locate priceless works of art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990.

Among the pieces stolen during the famous raid were a work by Vermeer and three works by Rembrandt. In total over ?300 million worth of art was taken.

On Sunday, a national newspaper reported that a team of FBI agents are to come to Ireland as the investigation into the stolen paintings continues.

The 'News Of The World' story alleged that the FBI believes that the provisional IRA have at least one of the paintings stashed somewhere in Galway.

However, when contacted yesterday by the Galway Independent, a spokesperson in the FBI's field office in Boston refused to get into a discussion on any specifics as the investigation is on-going.

The investigation, which has been ongoing for over 16 years now, has seen the FBI focus on the IRA, the infamous Boston mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger (the gangster that inspires this year's hit movie, The Departed), as well as a well-known art thief.

Even today, a ?5 million dollar reward is offered for the safe recovery of all the stolen items in good condition.

The daring heist took place on March 18 1990 when two men, dressed as police officers managed to gain entrance into the world famous Gardner Museum in Boston.

While in the museum, the thieves seized art worth over ?300 million before making their getaway.

Art Hostage says: Guys, work this thing honourably, don't set eachother up.

The Gardner case is a "One Off" the return of the Vermeer with the help of Irish Republicans will be viewed in America as a personal "Thankyou" for the support given to Irish Republicanism over the last Thirty years.

The game of "Cat and Mouse" between Law Enforcement and the criminal underworld can resume, after the Vermeer has been recovered, until then, lets all go for a senario that see's the Vermeer surface via a confessional box.

I am holding back vital information until it is safe to post, I do not want to appear too ahead of the game and upset the trust and balance, but I will say, FBI Agent Robert Wittman is as "Straight as a gun barrel" and can, I repeat can be, trusted to recover the Vermeer in an honourable manner, without duping anyone.

I am waiting for news the Vermeer has been recovered, its on the way !

You may head to Galway, but you cannot have it all-ways, what is desperately needed is good old fashioned "American Pragmatism."

Explosives accused granted bail !!

A son of former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey has been released on bail by the High Court.

Declan McGlinchey, 30, of Gulladuff Road in Bellaghy, is charged with constructing and possessing a bomb discovered at a garage yard in July.

The prosecution is relying on DNA material.

After hearing submissions from prosecution and defence, a judge said the evidence was "not the strongest case," and released him on bail.