"I regret not doing the job. Now I wish I'd done the job... I wish I'd done it."
These are the words of the 'Lying Eyes' hitman-for-hire Essam Eid who has opened up about the contract he accepted from Sharon Collins in 2006 to murder her partner, millionaire businessman PJ Howard and his sons Niall and Robert.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Star, Essam Eid said he regrets not going through with the job and believes he wouldn't have ended up in jail if he carried out the murders.
The former Las Vegas poker dealer said he believes his decision to pull out of the job resulted in him spending a total of eight years in jail for demanding money with menace and handling stolen property- five years in Ireland and three years in the US.
"[I regret] not going through with the job," he said.
"If I had done the job I would not have ended up in jail... I know that myself.
"I came to Ireland to kill people but I had changed my mind... I still get blamed for something I did not do.
"Now I wish I'd done the job... I wish I'd done it," he added.
Sharon Collins, from Ennis, Co Clare, was sentenced to six years in jail in 2008 for soliciting Eid to kill her partner PJ and his two sons. The court was told that Collins used the name 'Lying Eyes' to contact Eid by email.
Eid also claims for the first time that two of his accomplices, a man and a woman both based in the US, travelled to Ireland a month before he arrived. Their plan was to poison the two Howard sons with ricin, but they didn't go through with the job and returned to the US.
Eid said he was not aware of the hitman-for-hire website before this trip, until his female associate admitted she had set the website up and used his debit card.
"When she came back I bring my gun with me and I tell her I'm going to kill her there and I'm going to put her in the desert or in the water," he told the Star.
"So she started crying and she told me about the situation with Sharon Collins. [I told her] I'll take the shot, I'll do it myself."
Eid said he flew to Ireland with the intention to kill all three men, until the male accomplice wanted a bigger share of the €100,000 offered for the murders.
"He wanted €75,000; the woman was to get €15,000 and I was to get €10,000. And then I said 'no, I'm off'. For €10,000, I'm out of it," he said.
Eid said he had no sympathy for the potential victims, adding that the three men were 'just a job'.
After he called off the plot, his male accomplice suggested they divert from the murder plan and instead try and extort the money from the Howard sons.
The men agreed to meet the Howard sons for the exchange of cash, when they arrested by police at the scene.
Eid said he didn't believe the arrest and thought he was on a candid camera television show.
"It was like something funny because I wasn't involved in anything here at all.
"I said 'Is this candid camera' and I looked around and they said 'No, this is the police'.
"I'm not telling you this story because I'm not guilty. I am guilty. I was there, I am guilty," he added.
Eid said the first time he saw Sharon Collins was in court, where Collins denied ordering the triple murder online throughout the 32-day trial.
Eid said he believes Sharon Collins is a 'liar' and was shocked when PJ Howard gave evidence in defence of his partner Collins and kissed her on the witness stand.
"He's stupid," Eid said of PJ Howard.
"Everybody testified that this lady... she hired these people to kill this guy.
"How is he so stupid... tell me how he can then walk up and give her a kiss?"
ON Friday, Sharon Collins rose early in the morning, dodged the throng of paparazzi who have been camped outside her Limerick apartment door since her release from Dochas Prison last Monday, and made her way up to the picturesque Clare Glens.