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Sunday 17 December 2017

Journalist steps up security after death threats

Tom Brady and  Mark Hilliard

A crime journalist has been forced to take security precautions after a death threat was issued against him by a suspected criminal from behind prison bars.

Gardai advised 'Sunday World' reporter Mick McCaffrey they were treating the threat seriously as the suspect was regarded as highly dangerous.

Threats were also made against a detective based in a Dublin south city station and a witness in a forthcoming trial.

Mr McCaffrey angered the criminal by writing an article about him, outlining his involvement in a lewd act while on his own in Phoenix Park.

The man is currently in jail, awaiting trial on an aggravated burglary charge. Two members of his extended family are also locked up after being convicted of serious offences.

Gardai fear that the suspect might attempt to follow through on his threats whenever he is released from jail.

He is also alleged to have offered to pay up to €20,000 to an associate to carry out the threats for him.

Officers gave advice to Mr McCaffrey about his personal security and he and his partner left their home for some time after learning of the threats.

He has also been provided with full-time security by his employers.

"The 'Sunday World' takes the safety of its staff very seriously," a source said last night.

However, the journalist has continued to work at the newspaper. Mr McCaffrey could not be reached for comment.

As part of the investigation into the threats, gardai arrested six people earlier this week for questioning.

The prime suspect was taken from prison and questioned by detectives for several hours before being returned to jail.

Last night two men and two women were still being held at Kevin Street garda station.

They were all detained under section 50 of the anti-gangland legislation, the 2007 Criminal Justice Act, which allowed gardai to hold them without charge for up to seven days.

The suspect and several of his associates were previously detained by gardai in connection with the disappearance of Romanian teenager Marioara Rostas, in January 2008.

She was last seen getting into a car in the south inner city. Gardai believe she was abducted and later murdered by a Dublin gang.

Irish Independent

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