Thursday 22 February 2018

Armed gardai find €15k worth of sunglasses during raid on criminal's North Dublin apartment

Joseph Magee
Joseph Magee

Ken Foy

A feared INLA criminal who was previously given a life sentence for the murder of a British soldier was the target of an operation by armed gardai at his north Dublin apartment.

Joseph 'Mad Dog' Magee (48) was not in his Clongrffin apartment when it was raided by armed gardai this week who recovered €15,000 worth of sunglasses in the property.

Pepper spray was also seized by detectives from Coolock Garda Station, but Magee was not arrested during the raid which happened at Marsfield Avenue at around 11am on Thursday.

"Investigations into this are ongoing. This had been a planned search and it has certainly showed up some interesting items," a source told the Herald.

It is believed that gardai removed a door of the Clongriffin apartment when they raided it. Magee has been living in the property for around three years.

Magee was jailed in 2004 after pleading guilty to the murder of Sergeant Michael Newman (34) who was gunned down by the INLA outside an army recruitment office in Derby city centre on April 13, 1992.

The terror group, which announced it was disbanding in 2009, admitted responsibility for Sgt Newman's killing at the time.

However, the INLA are still suspected of being involved in a number of extortion rackets across the capital and in border counties.

Also given a jail sentence for the murder of Sgt Newman was Magee's then close associate Declan 'Whacker' Duffy (41), who finally pleaded guilty to the charges in July 2010 after being extradited to England.

Both men served relatively small sentences for the murder because of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

'Mad Dog' Magee, who said he was the driver for the gunman, was jailed for 25 years in 2004 after admitting his role, but like 'Whacker' Duffy, he spent only two years in an English jail before being able to return to Ireland.

In February 1994, Magee was at the centre of a major Anglo-Irish diplomatic row when the High Court in Dublin refused to allow his extradition to the UK.

The court ruled that the offence was categorised as political because it was carried out with a handgun rather than an automatic weapon.

However, Armagh man Magee was finally arrested for the murder in March 2004 in Belfast and flown to Derby where he was charged and later convicted of the crime.

The court heard that witnesses described two men running after the victim, with Magee limping behind. Magee had been 'kneecapped' by the IRA in Northern Ireland following a dispute a year earlier.

Several people heard the sound of "popping" gunfire and described how the INLA killers stooped down over Sgt Newman's body "inspecting the results of their handiwork" before making their escape.

Surgeons fought in vain for 17 hours to save Sgt Newman, a member of the Royal Signal Corps.

It is believed that Magee has been living in Dublin for a number of years and has been hanging around with a number of men from the Kilbarrack area of the capital's northside.

However unlike his former close associate 'Whacker' Duffy, Magee has had a relatively low profile in Dublin since being freed from jail.


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