on the loose | 

Manhunt underway for one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals who allegedly assaulted legal professional

‘He could be anywhere in the country right now but he will be arrested on sight’

Patrick Irwin© James Connolly / PicSell8

Ken FoySunday World

A manhunt is underway today for one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals who allegedly badly assaulted a well-known legal professional and then stole his car.

Gardaí across the country are on the lookout for notorious hood Patrick Irwin (40) after the bizarre events which unfolded in Tullamore, Co Offaly, yesterday.

The incident unfolded at lunchtime yesterday.

The assault happened in a pub in the centre of Tullamore at around 1.30pm and the car was stolen from Distillery Lane, Tullamore, 10 minutes after that.

It is understood that the legal professional who is known to Irwin required medical treatment after he was allegedly attacked by the notorious Sligo drugs trafficker.

Sources said that Irwin has “a grudge” against the lawyer and became aware that he was in the midlands town yesterday where he allegedly beat him up in a pub before escaping in the car.

The vehicle has not yet been recovered by gardaí who are attempting to locate both Irwin and the car.

“He could be anywhere in the country right now but he will be arrested on sight. Gardaí are investigating all aspects of what happened yesterday,” a source said.

The Leinster-based legal professional who was injured in yesterday’s incident has represented a number of the country’s most feared criminals in various court cases as well as medical professionals and a wide variety of other clients in both criminal and civil cases.

Originally from Sligo, Irwin is involved in criminal enterprises in a number of counties across the country and sources say his operations are getting bigger.

His gang were the focus of a major operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) last July in which one of Irwin’s key associates was raided in an operation in which drugs, cars and €24,000 cash was seized.

In 2012, the Criminal Assets Bureau seized Irwin's home in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim.

It was estimated by CAB to have cost €400,000 when built.

Irwin, who had links to slain crime lord Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne and other dangerous Dublin-based gangsters, was released from jail in August 2018 after serving a consecutive ten-year jail sentence for drug dealing and savagely assaulting a garda.

Irwin, of St Joseph's Terrace, Sligo, was jailed in 2011 for seven years after he was caught with €67,000 worth of cocaine.

A further three years were added in June 2013 after he was sentenced for breaking the jaw of a Garda Sergeant in an incident in Collooney, Co Sligo.

Irwin’s former girlfriend Deirdre Moran (36) was jailed for five years for transporting a gun from Dublin to Sligo for the gang boss.

She had denied the charge at her trial but was found guilty. She was stopped by gardaí near the M4 and the gun was found in a sock underneath the front passenger seat.

Gardaí had set up a surveillance operation and saw Moran drive into the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre car park where she spent about an hour.

She returned to her car and was seen on her phone appearing to look for another vehicle.

A van and Moran subsequently drove in convoy to a nearby tyre depot.

The driver of the van made contact with Moran and she then turned her car around and drove towards the M4 where she was stopped by gardaí.

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