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Gangland figures' farewell to veteran kidnapper and armed robber Mick Cunningham

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Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

A host of figures from the crime world attended the funeral of veteran kidnapper and armed robber Mick Cunningham yesterday.

The 65-year-old died of a heart attack in his Ballyfermot home on Monday.

Martin 'Viper' Foley, Troy Jordan and Cunningham's brother John were among the mourners gathered at the Church of the Assumption yesterday.

Mick and John Cunningham (63) were behind a string of armed robberies in the 1970s when they had strong connections with the gang led by Martin 'The General' Cahill.

kidnap

The brothers became household names after their convictions for the 1986 armed kidnap of merchant banker's wife Jennifer Guinness from her north Dublin home.

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Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Her husband, John Guinness, was the chairman of Guinness Mahon Bank.

On April 8, 1986 Mick Cunningham and his gang took the family hostage and demanded IR£2m for Mrs Guinness' safe return.

Gardai rescued her days later from a house in Ballsbridge following an all-night siege.

John Cunningham was sentenced to 17 years and Mick got 14 years at the Circuit Criminal Court.

Mick was freed from jail in 1995, but around the same time his brother escaped from Shelton Abbey Prison.

He was tracked down five years later in Holland, where he was caught in possession of drugs and jailed before being extradited to Ireland to serve the rest of his sentence for the kidnapping.

Last February he moved to Spain where he hooked up with the Christy Kinanhan international crime syndicate.

He flew in from the Costa del Sol to be at yesterday's funeral service.

Gangland figure Troy Jordan was also there to pay his respects.

Jordan is currently challenging an €800,000 bill handed to him by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and is taking his dispute to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this week it emerged that Jordan has reapplied for bankruptcy in England. Gardai believe this is an effort to thwart the Irish authorities' efforts to extract the money from him.

Jordan's battle with the CAB began in 2005 when it demanded a tax payment of €800,000 for activities between 1992 and 2003.

'Viper' Foley, a former associate of murdered gangland kingpin Martin Cahill, was also at yesterday's funeral.

Foley (63) owes more than €900,000 to the Revenue in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

He is one of Ireland's most notorious criminals and has been shot on four separate occasions.

Mourners at Cunningham's funeral Mass were reminded of his love of animals, especially his dogs and birds and horses.

After the funeral his remains were taken to Newlands Cross Crematorium.

hnews@herald.ie

Herald