Thomas 'Slab' Murphy has reigned as an untouchable IRA godfather and the head of a huge organised criminal empire for around 40 years.
During all that time this "good Republican" - considered a hero by Sinn Féin - turned the pastoral landscape of South Armagh into Bandit Country.
Like a Nordic warlord, he ruled the spiritual home of Republicans with an iron fist - beyond reach of governments and security services on both sides of the Border. Despite running one of the richest criminal empires in the world and being on the Army Council of the IRA, Thomas 'Slab' Murphy was untouchable in every sense.
But yesterday after an 11-year investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau, and a trial in the Special Criminal Court lasting 32 days, Murphy has finally been reined in by the law.
For the first time in his long and bloody career, the 66-year-old godfather is tantalising within view of the place where he has always belonged - prison.
Ironically, the police may have finally brought down Ireland's most notorious untouchable godfather in the same fashion that Eliot Ness took down Al Capone - the tax laws.
And just like with Capone, Murphy's conviction for tax evasion is one of the most significant prosecutions in the war against racketeering in many years.
It may have been portrayed as the case of a farmer who dodged paying tax, but the truth is that he was targeted by CAB because it was the only way of finally breaking the protective wall that made 'Slab' untouchable.
It is rather incredible that he could have been allowed to remain safe in his criminal kingdom and operate with such impunity for so long.
He ran his empire right under the noses of the British and Northern authorities.
Murphy always seemed to be one step ahead of the law, justifying the suspicions of many in the security services that he had moles planted in the various government agencies on both sides of the border.
A widespread fuel racket also created an environmental disaster as the greedy Republican dumped carcinogenic, toxic waste in waterways along the Border.
The practice has also cost the councils in Louth and Monaghan many hundreds of thousands of euro to clean up the mess, thus diverting funds that were badly needed elsewhere. That is why Murphy's conviction is hugely embarrassing for Sinn Féin, who lionised him as one of the good guys because, behind the scenes, he is one of the shadowy figures controlling the party.
In March 2006, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams sprang to the godfather's defence when police and customs from both sides of the Border swooped.
During the major search operation, CAB and their then Northern counterparts, the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), uncovered evidence of a hidden economy worth hundreds of millions of euro.
Amongst the wealth uncovered was a UK and Irish property portfolio including office blocks, houses, hotels and pubs which was conservatively valued at the time to be worth €100m.
Also discovered not far from Murphy's home was a large, purpose-built torture chamber that had been used by the Provos to interrogate and torture their victims.
But Adams described Slab Murphy as a "good Republican" who had been "important to the peace process". And in what appeared to be a veiled and menacing threat, Adams warned that people should leave his comrade alone.
The conviction of Murphy is further proof of the nexus between the IRA, Sinn Féin and organised crime.
It also shows up the sickening hypocrisy of Sinn Féin's rhetoric about caring for the ordinary man and woman.
The huge sums of money their hero stole from the public purse on both sides of the Border - some of which both Governments believe benefited Sinn Féin - could have been spent on social welfare, schools and hospital beds.
Murphy has in recent years agreed to pay a multi-million-euro tax demand from CAB but the truth is that he is still one of Europe's wealthiest criminals.
And he still enjoys some hidden friends in the public services. Three years ago, another major cross-border dawn swoop was planned for Murphy and his associates.
But three hours before the search was launched, undercover surveillance officers watching the various houses due to be targeted noticed small fires suddenly appear in several gardens.
When the swoop began, it was discovered that sheafs of documents and several laptops had been destroyed - suggesting yet again that Slab and company were tipped off.
Murphy was charged with nine counts of failing to furnish a return of income, profits or gains or the source of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General between 1996 and 2004.
The case centred on the fact that Murphy had made no tax payments on his earnings from cattle dealing and land, and that he had also been in receipt of farming grants from the Department of Agriculture.
Slab offered the preposterous defence that his brother Patrick had effectively stolen his identity and was therefore the chargeable person.
But yesterday the judges in the non-jury court rejected that defence.
Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court was "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that in each of the individual counts on the indictment the accused is guilty".
The narrative of the long trial gave no hint of the much more colourful world of the terror chief.
Instead of the Special Branch, the court heard several days of testimony from officials from the Department of Agriculture, meat factory and cattle mart managers.
This was a great victory for the State, the people of Ireland by the members of the Criminal Assets Bureau who spent 14 years on the case.
Unfortunately, over recent years, this once proactive, ground-breaking, fearless unit appears to have become much less active and has been allowed to slip out of public view.
The success of the case against Slab Murphy should force the authorities on both sides of the border to finally stamp out Bandit Country and its untouchable godfathers.