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Thursday 18 September 2014

Tycoon insists story about eight-month abduction is true as he leaves garda custody 

Paul Williams and Caroline Crawford

Published 16/03/2013 | 06:32

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15/3/2013; Kevin McGeever leaves Gort garda station. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Irish Independent
15/3/2013; Kevin McGeever leaves Gort garda station. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Irish Independent
Kevin McGeever leaves Gort garda station and, inset, hiding his face. Right, the developer before his claimed ordeal.

THE developer who claims he was abducted and held against his will for eight months was released from garda custody last night – after insisting his bizarre story is true.

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Kevin McGeever (68) was released shortly after 9pm.

But a source revealed that the former tycoon was determinedly sticking to his story.

"Mr McGeever is insisting that his story is true. While he has stuck to his story about being abducted, major inconsistencies remain in his account of events," said a source.

Gardai now intend sending a file to the DPP requesting a decision on whether to charge Mr McGeever with wasting garda time.

He was picked up at 9.10pm by a man driving a blue 1995 Kerry-registered Vauxhall.

Three uniformed gardai came out onto the roadway to clear all traffic and allow the car to depart the station quickly.

Mr McGeever refused to comment or answer any questions as the gardai escorted him from the station to the waiting car.

Looking gaunt, he was wearing a black jacket with a blue hat, which he pulled down to cover his face.

The Irish Independent understands that senior gardai were extremely frustrated with the lack of details provided by Mr McGeever in relation to his apparent abduction.

"The fact a decision was taken to arrest a man who claims he was the victim of such a serious crime illustrates the level of concern about how well his story stacks up," a source said.

Evidence One of the lines of inquiry carried out by the gardai was to establish whether Mr McGeever had taken out kidnap and ransom insurance on himself – but they did not find any evidence that he had.

It is also understood that medical reports contradict Mr McGeever's claims – and that he is in better health than would be expected for a man who had been locked up in steel box under ground for eight months.

Mr McGeever (68), from Swinford, Co Mayo, was arrested in Craughwell by officers on a suspicion of withholding information.

The former tycoon was detained on Thursday afternoon under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act.

He was brought to Gort garda station in Co Galway. He remained in the station for close to 33 hours.

He was visited twice during his time in custody by his solicitor, once on Thursday night for close to an hour-and-a-half and once again yesterday morning for a shorter period.

He was also brought food by an officer at lunchtime and sandwiches were delivered shortly before 7pm.

The station where he was held is the same one where a missing person's report was filed for Mr McGeever by his partner Siobhan O'Callaghan last June, a month after he had disappeared. When he was discovered wandering barefoot on a road near the Cavan-Leitrim border on January 29 of this year, Mr McGeever told gardai he had been abducted from the garden of his €3m Craughwell home 'Nirvana' at gunpoint by a number of masked men eight months earlier. He claimed to have been held by kidnappers for a ransom.

However, concerns about his story arose after he was unable to supply any details about his captivity or on his abductors.

He was also unable to shed any light on why he may have been kidnapped.

Gardai interviewed him at the hospital and again on his release, however, they remained concerned about aspects of his story.

Last month the Irish Independent revealed that the mansion where Mr McGeever lived before he went missing is owned by a mystery company with no obvious links to the developer.

Mr McGeever has twice been sought by international police forces in the past in connection with fraud investigations.

His name has been on Interpol watch lists for much of the past decade.

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