NewsCrime Desk

'Viper' Foley quiet over warning he's on Kinahan cartel hitlist

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Martin 'the Viper' Foley
Martin 'the Viper' Foley

MARTIN 'the Viper' Foley kept 'schtum' when confronted by The Sunday World over Gardai warnings that he is the latest of gangland's 'old-guard' to become a target for the Kinahan drug cartel.

Foley (65) has already survived being shot at least 14 times in four separate assassination attempts.

But there was little sign that the veteran gangster turned debt collector was letting a new threat from the Kinahan mob get to him when we caught up with him on Tuesday.

Rolling down the window of his car mid-phone call, Foley casually asked what we wanted to speak with him about.

"I'm just on the phone here, wait a minute there," he said.

The Viper

Told we wanted to speak to him about the official warning, Foley politely replied: "I'll tell you what to do," he said.

"I'm in the middle of a meeting with a solicitor at the moment and I can't comment on it as such.

"So that's all I have to say about it that moment.

"But just hang on there a mo­ment … just give me one second."

As our reporter waited outside the car, Foley could be heard speaking with someone on the other end of the phone informing them he had been approached by a journalist from The Sunday World.

Rolling down the window a second time, he asked: "You're with The Sunday World are you?"

After our reporter confirmed this, Foley rolled the window back up advising our man: "Re­lax there a second, I won't snap."

A minute later he emerged from the vehicle signaling any chance of a discussion was now at an end.

"No, sorry.

"I can't … I can't talk to you.

"I'm just after ring­ing my solicitor. I can't talk to you, sorry."

Two weeks ago Foley was issued with Garda Information Message forms, offi­cially warning him of an active threat to his life from the cartel.

It's understood that Foley, simi­larly to murdered Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan, is being targeted by the Kinahan mob over his friendship with Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch.

Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan

Both Foley and Duggan belong to a rare breed of gangland crim­inals who survived past their middle years.

Foley was part of Martin 'The General' Cahill's armed-robbery gang but had since distanced him­self from organised crime, turning to debt-collecting as a profession.

Foley was previously shot in the arm and leg near Fatima Mansions in 1995, he was tar­geted in 1996 in a hit which is believed to have been ordered by John Gilligan and he was blasted again in 2000 in Terenure.

The most recent attempt on his life occurred in Janu­ary 2008 outside the Carlisle Gym in Kimmage.

That attack was be­lieved to be linked to the now defunct Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.

Two weeks ago, Foley was offi­cially warned by Gardai he was under threat from the Kinahan's guns.

The warning was issued just days before the horrific shooting of veteran cigarette smuggler Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan.

Duggan (58) was regarded as one of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch's closest friends.

Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch

Sources say the order to kill Kingsize arose out of suspicions within the Kinahan faction that he had provided logistical sup­port to the hit team involved in the Regency Hotel assault.

However, it's also thought that his re­lationship with Gerry Hutch may have been a major factor in the decision to have him killed.

Sources say the feud between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs is all the more lethal due to its personal nature.

Already, the Kinahan faction has taken out the Monk's nephew Gary, his brother Eddie and his best friend.

Despite the closeness of their friendship, the Monk was not present at Duggan's funeral at Ratoath on Monday.