Friday 31 March 2017

Source a suspect in tip-off that led to Guerin's death

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

John Traynor was an underworld source for investigative journalist Veronica Guerin.

But he is suspected of ultimately passing on information about her, which led to her murder on the Naas dual carriageway near Newlands Cross in June, 1996.

Gardai believe that Traynor (pictured) tipped off the gang responsible for her murder that she had been in Naas earlier that day for an appearance in the local district court on a motoring offence -- and said she would use the dual carriageway to travel home.

A well-known fraudster and con man, Traynor traded information regularly and acted as a tout for several gardai. But officers were always suspicious of his motives and the veracity of his tips.

A close associate of John Gilligan, the leader of the drug-trafficking gang, Traynor moved to mainland Europe shortly after the shooting and alternated between bases in the Netherlands and Spain.

Gilligan turned on his associate two years ago when he told the High Court in Dublin that Traynor was responsible for the journalist's murder and had ordered the hit.

Gilligan told the judge: "John Traynor had Veronica Guerin murdered. He said to me he had stolen Brian Meehan's telephone."

Meehan is the only person to be convicted of the Guerin murder and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

Gilligan made the amazing claim under court privilege as he fought an application by the Criminal Assets Bureau to have a receiver appointed to the family properties.

Traynor had also been a close ally of another gang leader, Martin 'The General' Cahill, and his list of crimes ranged from fraud and embezzlement to robbery, drugs and prostitution.

As part of his criminal activities, he also had contacts with the INLA, which had moved largely from paramilitary involvement to ordinary crime.

Irish Independent

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