GANG boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson was visited by a close associate of a Dublin criminal on the run in Spain while awaiting extradition.
Thompson was extradited to Madrid on Friday to face major gangland charges there.
He left Cloverhill Prison at approximately 2pm and was conveyed to Dublin Airport in a prison van as part of a convoy of four vehicles. Thompson had been in Cloverhill Prison since being arrested by gardai on foot of a European Arrest Warrant two weeks ago.
Armed detectives and airport police were awaiting his arrival at the airport, and he was marched on to the plane some two hours before its scheduled departure while passengers looked on in the departures terminal.
After his arrival in Madrid, Thompson was brought to the Alhaurin de la Torre jail in Andalusia. It is understood the Crumlin gang boss is confident he will get bail in Spain, which is why he opted for uncontested extradition proceedings in the High Court here last week.
While awaiting his extradition, Thompson received three visitors.
One of these visitors is believed to be a close associate of fugitive Eugene Cullen, who is being sought for questioning by detectives in relation to a robbery in Dundrum and a fatal shooting in 2009.
This person's visit is now leading to speculation that Thompson will link up with Cullen if he gets bail in Spain.
A court hearing is believed to have been scheduled in Spain for today -- but will not be held in public.
Last week, jail sources in Cloverhill revealed that Thompson has been "celeb prisoner number one" during his stay at Cloverhill. Officers with years of experience and raw recruits wanted to see the man behind the headlines.
While he was held in a segregation unit for the duration, he didn't seek out friendship, even at recreation -- but he was not short of legal advice.
John Dundon, from the infamous Limerick crime family, shouted legal advice from his cell below Freddie on D1.
Sources at the prison said that Thompson had indicated that being on bail in Spain would be a more attractive proposition.
"He was always polite and caused no trouble whatsoever," said a senior officer.
Sources said that Thompson's decision to agree to extradition to Spain to face gangland charges is a "tactical manoeuvre" to allow him to continue his life of crime.