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border bandit How gang boss 'Dublin Jimmy' masterminded an eight year terror campaign in Co Cavan

A new Crime World Extra podcast reveals how 'Dublin Jimmy' aka Cyril McGuinness was paid to spread mayhem and chaos in the Slieve Rusheen area


Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

He was the violent enforcer of Slieve Rusheen who operated with impunity for more than eight years terrorising ‘traitors’ who turned on the mighty Sean Quinn.

His death from a massive heart attack as UK cops raided his Derbyshire hideaway two years ago played out like the final dramatic scenes of a John B Keane play.

But the end for Dublin Jimmy, aka Cyril McGuinness, only marked the beginning of an Armageddon for his tribe.

Even as he lay where he fell the rumblings of a tsunami headed for the border and aimed at his mob of bandits could be felt.

A major new cross border Joint Investigation Team merging the resources of the Gardai and the PSNI was announced just hours after he died and it’s work is ongoing to identify a mystery 'paymaster' and those in his network of terror.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton confirmed that attacks dating back as far as 2012 were to be probed by the new team and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said all investigations would be well resourced.

A group of up to 12 key individuals, some employed in former Quinn companies, were quickly identified as behind many of the attacks in the area while Gardai concentrated on bringing the mercenaries hired in for the Lunney kidnap and torture to justice.

This week three men Alan ‘Pegger’ O’Brien, Darren Redmond and a 40 year old identified as YZ for legal reasons were convicted for their roles in the outrage on Lunney.

Wider investigations are on-going around all of McGuinness’ associates who include ex-Provos operating across Cavan, Monaghan, Longford.


Darren Redmond. Photo: Collins Courts

Darren Redmond. Photo: Collins Courts

Darren Redmond. Photo: Collins Courts

But for the Joint Investigation Team, the first of its kind between the two police forces, the big prize is the shady paymaster – a mafia style Godfather whose house of cards could be set to topple.

A lengthy Sunday World investigation, carried out over years in the Fermanagh and Cavan areas, has repeatedly concluded that it was McGuinness who directed blockades, arson attacks, criminal damage and a campaign of intimidation which began within 24 hours of former billionaire Sean Quinn and his family being locked out of their businesses in April, 2011.

In 2014 we were first to name ‘Dublin Jimmy’ as the man behind the Quinn attacks and we later reported how he had become a company director along with a Polish killer Mariusz Jarosz.

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We detailed how he was once the biggest illegal dumper in Northern Ireland and had served a sentence for stealing trucks and cranes in Belgium and the Netherlands. In recent years he is suspected of involvement in ATM robberies.

While McGuinness behaved as an enforcer on Slieve Rusheen, rounded up support locally and hired in mercenaries to kidnap and assault Kevin Lunney, officers believe that he was acting under orders himself.

Sources say that the attacks weren’t always random acts of violence but often facilitated corporate sabotage – motivated to frighten away investors and decrease the value of the seized businesses.

Up to 70 attacks were reported during the first three years of the campaign as Aventas Group attempted to sell Quinn Group Assets. They included incidents of sabotage, threats and intimidation.

The car of the receiver appointed chief executive Paul O’Brien was set on fire outside his home forcing him to hire security for his team.

Diesel pumps were broken so trucks could not refuel, steel spikes were scattered on roads to damage tyres, massive boulders were placed at entrances to disrupt transport and fires were set inside and outside buildings.

A series of arson attacks on cables linking the industries occurred again and again in order to disrupt production.

Giant boulders placed over the manholes covering the wires were regularly removed and accelerant poured down before the vital cables were set alight.

Electricity poles were chopped down to cut off electricity supply, machinery and equipment was torched and in one incident a die-hard Quinn supporter electrocuted himself.

In 2013 as receivers finalised plans for a joint venture between Lagan Group and Quinn Building Products, a bullet was sent in the post to the Group Chief Kevin Lagan.

Months later fires were lit and expensive trucks owned by the company were damaged. The deal was shelved when Mr Lagan received a death threat on the day his wife died.

After the former Quinn businesses were rebranded as ‘Aventas’ an oil tanker was rammed into the head office and set on fire.


Cyril McGuinness was hiding in England before his death

Cyril McGuinness was hiding in England before his death

Cyril McGuinness was hiding in England before his death

Signs were erected naming individuals under threat and ordering: “Vultures Out.” In 2014 a second company interested in a deal with Aventas pulled out after a van loaded with a flammable substance was driven through the gates of its premises in Cork and set on fire.

Despite the setbacks a number of former Quinn businesses including a wind farm, a glass factory, a plastics business and a radiator firm were sold by Aventas netting almost €700 million.

At the end of 2014 a deal was done with a consortium of local businessmen to buy a portion of the remaining assets.

As part of the agreement Quinn Industrial Holdings was set up by it’s directors Kevin and Tony Lunney, Liam McCaffrey, Dara O’Reilly and John McCartin and at the beginning of January Sean Quinn made a celebrated return as a paid advisor.

However despite being billed as the return of the messiah, relations cooled very quickly between Quinn and his former senior executives when they disagreed on who owned or ran the new business.

As tensions grew attacks started up again and a pig's head was dumped outside the home of Kevin Lunney.

In May 2016 Quinn left his businesses again and Gardai and PSNI braced themselves for further unrest on the mountain.

By 2018 the ire of the Quinn supporters was towards the QIH directors. There were arson attacks at the homes of Tony Lunney and Dara O’Reilly while both O’Reilly and Kevin Lunney were physically attacked.


Kevin Lunney

Kevin Lunney

Kevin Lunney

Sources say that both the PSNI and the Gardai ha bdeen aware for years that McGuinness is at the top of the organised attacks.

Both police forces agree that his group was organised on a similar basis to the IRA with an ‘army council’.

McGuinness’ home was located just hundreds of metres from where the vast majority of the attacks have taken place. It is understood he was questioned by the PSNI but not arrested.

Following the horror attack on Kevin Lunney, Sean Quinn spoke to Channel 4 to deny he had anything to do with the abduction and torture of his former colleague.

"I think that somebody with a high IQ would know that Seán Quinn is not a real fool and that he would know if something like what happened to Kevin Lunney happened, that people would be looking in his direction.

"Wouldn't I know that? So unless they consider me a real idiot, sure there's no way that I could allow that to be done in my name," he said in an interview.

When asked if he knew about, commissioned or sanctioned the abduction and torture of Mr Lunney, Mr Quinn said: "No, I didn't."

"I had no hand act or part, or no gain. I'd have no benefit from doing anything to Kevin Lunney. Kevin Lunney and I were good friends for years," he said.

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