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'Viper' Foley quits as director of debt collection firm


Martin 'Viper' Foley

Martin 'Viper' Foley

Martin 'Viper' Foley

Criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley has quit as a director of this debt-collection company after almost a decade in the role.

The move came two months after his home was raided by officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau and Revenue over almost €1m in unpaid taxes and penalties.

Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services was set up in November 2004, with Foley (63) being appointed as a director the following year.

His wife Sonia (38) has been a director of the firm since 2008.

However, now papers filed with the Companies Registration Office show that Martin Foley resigned as a director on November 17.

He is being replaced by Manchester-based Alan Gray (40), whose occupation is listed as a manager at a communications company.

The raid on Foley's home on October 15 saw a large sum of cash, an Audi car, two motorbikes and jewellery - including his wedding ring - taken away.

The raid was co-ordinated by the Dublin Sherriff's Office and was backed up by armed gardai, who maintained a presence while officials searched the house on Cashel Avenue in Crumlin.

Foley owed €940,042.52 to Revenue in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

He told the Herald afterwards that his heavily-pregnant wife Sonia was left "very stressed out" and needed medical attention because she believed the couple's Jack Russell would also be seized.

He vowed to sue the State for "damages and stress".

"I plan to get all the items back - I'm very unhappy about my treatment here," he said.

Foley claimed he had a "verbal agreement" that his outstanding tax bill was balanced out by money he said he is owed by the State.

He said the issue dates from February 1996 when Charlie Bowden, the criminal who became a state supergrass in the Veronica Guerin murder trials, was involved in an attempt to murder him.

Bowden admitted his role in the gun attack on Foley in court, saying he had provided the weapon.

Foley sued Bowden in the High Court in November 2000 and was awarded IR£120,000.

He said the State became liable for the sum because Bowden wasn't charged with his attempted murder and the State had "let him" leave the country in a witness protection programme.

He claimed that later, when CAB presented him with a bill of IR£170,000, he handed over IR£40,000 and "the two things had kind of cancelled each other out".

Foley, one of Ireland's most notorious criminals, married his long-term partner Sonia Doyle in the Canary Islands in 2013.

He has been shot on four separate occasions.