It was all true, insists fantasist who pleaded guilty to faking kidnap
A fantasist who faked his own abduction has claimed that he was kidnapped after all, and that he survived for eight months in a lorry container on lettuce sandwiches and water dripping from the roof.
Kevin McGeever sparked an expensive garda probe when he turned up on a roadside on the Leitrim-Cavan border on January 29, 2013. Looking emaciated and dishevelled, he told local gardaí that he had been held in captivity for up to eight months.
Last week the 71-year-old was given a two-year suspended prison sentence at Galway Circuit Court for wasting garda time.
An apology was read out to the court on his behalf.
The court was told that, during his fourth interview with gardaí, McGeever finally admitted fabricating the kidnapping story.
However, in an interview with the 'Sunday Independent', the Mayo man repeated his claim that he had been held against his will and denied allegations that he was behind a series of multi-million euro banking and property swindles.
"I'm forbidden from talking about that," said McGeever, before going on to claim he was held against his will.
"On May 27 the incident happened. Siobhan [his late partner] was in Dublin. I went down [to Galway] on Sunday morning to check the house out. I wanted to check some gardening instructions that I had given them to do. When I left, Siobhan was asleep in bed.
"I was supposed to see her in the afternoon because I was going to watch the race in Monaco, I like the Formula One racing. I was going to be back and we were going to go to the Pro Cathedral at 6.30pm. We go there every Sunday when we're here.
"Well, I didn't come back. She didn't see me again. She didn't hear from me again until January 30 the following year, 2013."
He claimed that when he was in captivity he had to move his head to catch the drips of condensation from the container roof.
He also said he survived on one white bread sandwich a day, filled with lettuce and "some awful spread that wasn't even butter".
McGeever claimed texts that gardaí found he had sent to Siobhan were in fact sent by his kidnappers.
"They sent them from my telephone that was taken away from me, my phone, and my watch and my holy chains, and everything I possessed," he said.
They read his text messages on his phone to copy his style: "The text messages were the way I used to text her. They were basically copying what I had sent her. Anyway, I cannot discuss any more about that."
McGeever told reporter Maeve Sheehan that allegations of fraud and corruption in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and America were not true.
"I want to get across that I am a real person. That I am an honest, decent hard-working Mayo man, that I started from scratch, a man with a dream, and I worked my arse off to make it happen, whether it was in the States, or in Australia or latterly in the Middle East."
The Swinford native claimed his last business - selling apartments in Dubai - didn't go to plan because of Irish customers.
"If you gave me a million, I wouldn't deal with Irish again, because you couldn't trust them, the b******s, you couldn't trust them," he said.
McGeever also dismissed allegations in a forthcoming RTÉ documentary that he is a swindler who had abandoned his family and investors in Australia.
"I have two daughters [in Australia] and they have two sons, beautiful young men. I have met them on Skype. I still have a great relationship with my daughters. We are in touch a couple of times every week. I have a relationship with my ex and the last time we spoke was just after Christmas," he said.
"I left Australia, yes. But I didn't abandon them. I was in touch with them all the time. They were well looked after, they had a nice place to live. A man moves on with his life."
He also claimed he isn't the same McGeever linked to a fake Liechtenstein bank scam.
"There are probably literally thousands of people that emigrated from Ireland called McGeever. Strangely enough there's an awful lot of Kevin McGeevers living in America on the East Coast, in Arizona and in Florida...They got me confused with somebody else," he said.