Thursday 8 December 2016

The General's 'spectacular' heist that led to his bloody downfall

Martin Cahill planned the Beit job to mock the establishment, but it backfired badly

Published 24/04/2016 | 02:30

'The General' Martin Cahill
'The General' Martin Cahill
Alfred and Clementine Beit at Russborough House, Co Wicklow

As they drove in darkness under the canopy of oaks that line the winding driveway to Russborough House, Martin Cahill knew in his heart and soul that this caper was not about money. He'd make more vaulting a counter and sticking a gun in some lowly bank official's face.

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This was about much more. It was about letting the bastards know that he could do as he pleased: put a bomb under the car of the State's most senior forensic scientist, break into the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions, rob and plunder with impunity.

Cahill, otherwise known as 'The General' in Dublin's underworld, was a smart guy, but he was about to enter his Mickey Mouse phase, dressing up in a mask, T-shirts and underpants and playing up for the cameras outside the Four Courts.

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