sauds' law! | 

€4.5m in Kinahan cash delivered to Jim Mansfield Jnr lost when plan to host Saudi students failed

Kinahan and Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh had planned to use the cash for luxury homes

Jim Mansfield Jnr. Pic: Collins Courts.

Nicola Tallant

The €4.5 million cash belonging to Daniel Kinahan and Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh and delivered to Jimmy Mansfield Jnr in two suitcases to launder was ironically lost when a plan to open a college for Saudi students went south.

The money was used to pay off debts after a proposal by Citywest to run its own English language institute for Middle Eastern scholars was canned after months in the planning.

Sources say Kinahan and Kavanagh never knew what happened to their cash, which was delivered to Mansfield Jnr by murdered drug enforcer Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh and his violent sidekick Paul Rice in a white van.

But the story of their money can be told today along with further extraordinary revelations of what went on at the House of Mansfield.

15.01.2014 Funeral of Eddie McLoughlin Crumlin. Shows Paul Rice and Gerard Kavanagh with coffin. Pic Mc Nulty/Leslie

The Sunday World understands that the Kinahan and Kavanagh cash was delivered to Tasaggart House on the basis that it would finance a number of luxury homes in west Dublin which both planned to use as their base in the capital.

The pair had their heart set on homes at Saggart Court Lodge or plots at Palmerstown House, where Jimmy Jnr had lived for years as a playboy prince of the Celtic Tiger.

Instead, a plan involving a love rat, a politician and a Saudi Arabian prince would swallow up the funds before they could ever be transferred into bricks and mortar - and for years afterwards Mansfield would struggle to find new ways to pay it back.

This week, the High Court heard that the home belonging to Mansfield's mother, Anne, at Coldwater Lakes was handed over to the duo as part payment for their losses, while cash in envelopes found during CAB raids on the family Tasaggart house was also believed to be meant for them.

Mansfield never planned for the money to disappear.

In fact, he hoped it would go towards raising €250 million to save the empire his father had built by opening a language school and nailing a contract to teach English to rich Saudis who the Mansfields hoped would flock to Citywest in their droves.

Jim Mansfield in City West. Photo: Tony Gavin

Independent TD Michael Lowry was involved in the bid to turn the disused shopping centre into a school for Saudi students.

Lowry was brought in to help lobby for the project - mainly due to contacts he had in the Kingdom from his travels there relating to his refrigeration business - and had even met then Minister Batt O'Keeffe to discuss the scheme, which promised to create hundreds of jobs and run for six years.

Neither Lowry nor O'Keefe could have known anything about Mansfield's links to criminality and at the time they were still seen as reputable business people who had fallen on hard times. It was also not unusual for politicians to be asked to make representations for a new venture.

The project was spearheaded by former Mansfield Group chief executive Sean Whelan, who would later be uncovered as a conman and love rat.

Whelan said the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia had been seeking a location to establish their international hub for English language for some time, and after trawling the world had chosen Citywest.

He claimed that all students would be funded by the King Abdullah Scholarship, a deal worth more than €250 million.

But shortly after the Citywest Institute of Education project was announced, the Saudi Ministry poured cold water on it, saying it would not be sending students there.

The debacle was largely credited as the final straw in the fall of the Mansfield empire into receivership.

Whelan went on to land a job with Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin at their prestigious Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, but then fled the country when it emerged he was a love rat who had conned a woman out of her life savings after promising to marry her.

American Annie Predun was convinced by Whelan to invest her life savings in a bank in Mauritius after meeting him on online dating agency Just a week into their relationship she wired more than US$100,000 to his AIB account in Portlaoise but never heard from him again.

5/7/10 Sean Whelan, CEO confirming the appointment of a reciever to Citywest Hotel, in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

Kinahan and Kavanagh were furious when they realised they weren't getting the properties they had 'bought' and piled pressure on Mansfield to get their money back.

He came up with scheme after scheme to raise the funds, along with a number of Traveller gangs and paramilitary groupings who were circling the bones of the once mighty empire as it fell to the receivers.

It is understood that Mansfield paid up to €20,000 in cash back per month to both Kinahan and Kavanagh. One source claims he paid back the full €4.5 million and more but that they insisted upon his mother's house as interest.

The pair handpicked number 10 Coldwater Lakes and Kinahan's brother Christopher Jnr even moved in for a period. Boxer Matthew Macklin, a close friend of Daniel Kinahan who has no involvement in crime, was also collated there when it was subject to a raid by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

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