Kidnap mystery tycoon may have had assets stolen

Greg Harkin

BUSINESSMAN Kevin Michael McGeever may have been held captive while a criminal gang stole his assets, gardai believe.

The 68-year-old has been able to speak briefly to gardai at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar about his eight-month ordeal.

Detectives are working on the theory that he has been held captive for "a considerable period of time".

Mr McGeever was found by the side of a road in Co Leitrim on Tuesday night.

He was wrapped in a plastic bag and wasn't wearing shoes. An insult had been carved onto his forehead.


Gardai in Gort, Co Galway – the station where he was reported missing last June – are now leading the investigation headed by Supt Pat Murray.

It's understood Mr McGeever is still too ill to be extensively questioned as recovers from malnutrition and dehydration. The word "thief" was scratched across his forehead with a knife.

There are also concerns for his mental well-being following his ordeal.

However, he has said that he was abducted at gunpoint from his €3m mansion in Craughwell, Co Galway.

He says he doesn't know where he was taken but believes he spent several hours in the back of a van before being dumped by armed men in Leitrim on Tuesday.

Catherine Vallely and her partner Peter Rehill, who found Mr McGeever, have confirmed that he asked not to be taken to a garda station. However, the concerned couple took him to the station in Ballinamore.


"The state he was in does indicate that Mr McGeever was held against his will at some point and it may take some time before everything that has happened to him is pieced together," said one source. "It may be some time before a clearer picture emerges but we are sceptical that this was the work of foreign-based criminals."

Gardai believe he may have had assets extorted from him during his capture. He has told officers that he was taken at gunpoint from his Co Galway home last May.

The Mayo-born businessman once ran a lucrative Dubai-based property empire, selling apartments to clients both here and in the UK.