herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Mansfield photographed at a mystery meeting with feared gangland criminal

Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell (far left) and Jim Mansfield Jr (far right) leaving the hotel in Blanchardstown
Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell (far left) and Jim Mansfield Jr (far right) leaving the hotel in Blanchardstown
Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell

This picture shows the aftermath of a hotel meeting which was attended by businessman Jimmy Mansfield and a major gangland criminal.

Our exclusive photos show Mansfield leaving a west Dublin hotel this week with Ballymun gangster Thomas 'Nicky' McConnell before the duo were driven away in the same car by a third man.

Before driving away from the hotel McConnell (30) scoped out the car park before the trio hopped into a black Audi car.

Volatile

It is not known why the well-known businessman was in the company of the volatile criminal, who has more 80 previous convictions for offences including threatening to kill a woman, drug dealing criminal damage, road traffic and possession of firearms.

The mysterious meeting took place on Tuesday afternoon at a hotel in Blanchardstown.

Attempts to get a comment from Mr Mansfield (49) in relation to the meeting were unsuccessful.

Sources said that gardai have been monitoring McConnell's movements since he was released from prison earlier this year.

He was jailed after admitting that he threatened to kill a woman and put her in the boot of his car as she collected her son from school.

Unlike McConnell, Mansfield, the son of the late hotelier Jim Mansfield Snr, has no serious criminal convictions. He has denied involvement in organised crime.

Mansfield, who has two previous convictions for drink driving, was given a five-year driving ban in 2011.

Last March he failed in his legal bid to get his driving licence restored. He needed his licence to help care for his elderly mother and run his businesses, Dublin District Court was told. Judge Aeneas McCarthy refused after hearing Garda objections.

It was after that hearing that Mansfield was confronted by a reporter and denied involvement in crime.

"We are not involved in organised crime. We are not drug dealers," he said at the time.

Mansfield manages the Finnstown Castle Hotel in Lucan. He was unavailable when the Herald tried to make contact with him there during the week.

The West Dublin hotel was among 30 properties in Dublin, Kildare, Louth and Cork searched by armed gardai in a series of raids in January.

There were no arrests made during any of the searches.

It is understood a number of antiques and paintings were taken from the hotel managed by Mansfield.

In May of last year, a large bomb was discovered at the hotel, which forced the evacuation of a wedding.

However, that incident was not linked to January's raids.

Detectives from Clondalkin Garda Station warned Mr Mansfield last October that there was a threat against his life.

Sources said that associates of a notorious Traveller criminal had been approached about a possible attack.

These associates were linked to slain criminal 'Fat Andy' Connors.

However, in a subsequent interview with the Herald, Mr Mansfield said he believed no criminals are after him or want to see him dead.

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