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'Tango One's down': the brutal life and death of the General

It's a full quarter-century since Martin Cahill, better known as the General, was gunned down near his Dublin home. Crime writer Paul Williams recalls a violent gangland figure whose eccentricity and audacious robberies turned him into a kind of criminal celebrity

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Taking the mickey: Martin Cahill outside a Dublin court in 1988

Taking the mickey: Martin Cahill outside a Dublin court in 1988

Martin 'The General' Cahill

Martin 'The General' Cahill

Cahill’s car after his assassination in 1994. Photo by Matt Walsh

Cahill’s car after his assassination in 1994. Photo by Matt Walsh

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Taking the mickey: Martin Cahill outside a Dublin court in 1988

'Tango One is down…Tango One is down…" the message crackled frantically from the scanner I used to listen in on the garda radio frequencies as the phone began to ring with sources excitedly confirming the groundbreaking news: Martin Cahill, aka, the General, Tango One, the undisputed godfather of the Irish criminal underworld, had been shot dead.

"Control, can you repeat that last message?" asked a clearly shocked voice over the wailing of a squad car siren.


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