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Saturday 25 November 2017

Female detective one of three targeted by ex-politician who tried to hire hitman

Paul Williams Special Correspondent

A FEMALE detective was one of three people targeted by a former politician who is being questioned about an attempt to hire a hitman, it emerged last night.

The man, the son of a former TD, was still in custody last night as detectives continued to investigate the sinister plot in which two undercover gardai were offered €10,000 to murder an accountant.

Meanwhile, the man's father was rushed to hospital yesterday complaining of dizziness and chest pains.

Friends were concerned about the enormous stress the former TD was under following his son's arrest and, after being examined by a GP, he was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The suspect, who is in his late 30s, was arrested at his home on Thursday morning on suspicion of conspiracy to murder the female garda, an accountant and a tax inspector.

Gardai have surveillance tapes where the man solicits an undercover officer posing as a 'hitman' to kill an accountant he was in dispute with.

He was being quizzed about this, as well as alleged threats to the female detective, who is married with children.

He was also being questioned about a parcel bomb sent to the tax official's office last June.

Sources have revealed that the Revenue officer had a lucky escape when he opened the bomb in his office – it later emerged that the fuse in the device had activated in transit and had failed to explode.

The official had been sent anonymous hate mail after he conducted an investigation into the former politician's business and issued him with a substantial tax demand.

Last month bullets were sent in the post to the accountant and another businessman who was in dispute with the financial adviser.

The female detective is part of two separate investigations into the businessman's activities.

One of the enquiries involves the falsification of documents for mortgage applications including documents purporting to come from the Revenue Commissioners.

The man was arrested on two separate occasions in relation to that enquiry.

The second probe concerns the alleged misappropriation of client's money which was supposed to be paid to banks as part of negotiated debt repayments.

The Irish Independent can reveal the man was arrested and quizzed in relation to that matter in January.

The sinister conspiracy involving the hitman came to light just a few days after the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in Co Louth.

The Irish Independent has learnt that an associate of the former politician convinced him not to target the garda and the tax official.

However, he was still determined to hire a hitman for for the accountant. It is understood that he had compared his situation to that of the late Charlie Haughey, who had blamed his dead accountant for most of his financial woes.

Gardai fast-tracked the arrest of the former politician over fears he would find real gangland figures capable of arranging such killings.

Gardai can hold the young man for up to seven days but the Irish Independent understands that a decision on whether to charge or release him will be taken today.

A complicating factor for gardai is that the man has a history of serious mental health problems over the past 18 months.

The man was known to gardai prior to his arrest on Thursday.

Irish Independent

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