herald

Monday 21 August 2017

'Viper' remains in hospital after jeweller's arrest

Viper Foley
Viper Foley

MARTIN 'The Viper' Foley remained in hospital last night after he was arrested in a city centre jewellery shop.

The 64-year-old career criminal was being monitored at the Mater Hospital in Dublin after complaining of heart problems while being questioned by gardai on Tuesday.

Gardai are keeping a watch on Foley at the hospital after he tried to evade arrest in the jeweller's in Dublin's Ilac Centre on Monday. He has been at the hospital since Tuesday morning when he was transferred there from Store Street Garda Station.

The Herald this week obtained CCTV footage showing Foley trying to escape arrest in the store before he was restrained.

It took four people to hold veteran criminal Foley (64) in the store before gardai took him away for questioning.

At one point in the footage, the Dublin man is held against a glass display case.

While wearing handcuffs, he made several unsuccessful attempts to run for the exit door even after the shutters were closed half way down by the terrified co-owner of the shop.

READ MORE: Caught on film: moment Viper tries to resist arrest in jeweller's

Eventually he was forced to the floor and was subsequently arrested by gardai from Store Street Station.

An accomplice of The Viper was also arrested at the scene. Both men can be clearly seen on the video footage struggling with security and gardai.

The episode unfolded in the jewellery shop over an alleged disagreement with the respected business owners over items of jewellery with an estimated value of around €3,000.

It is believed that the items may have belonged to Foley's ex-partner.

In a bizarre twist, however, the shop became the victim of a scam when a man purchased the ring with a credit card which never cleared for payment.

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The couple have run their jewellery business in the Ilac Centre for three years. They were described last night as ordinary decent business people who were merely trying to make a living.

Gardai are investigating the events leading up to Monday's shocking incident.

It is understood that 'The Viper' made a series of threatening phone calls, including death threats, against the man and his family.

On Monday the criminal, who has more than 40 convictions, arrived at the centre and entered the store several times with an accomplice when the female owner of the store was working alone.

Shortly before lunchtime, the owner locked the shop and was followed by the pair to a coffee shop in the busy shopping mall.

According to a source, Foley made a series of threats towards the co-owner of the store while they were there.

After the shocking ordeal, the woman was taken away in an ambulance and treated for shock.

'The Viper' is one of Ireland's most notorious criminals and he has been shot on four separate occasions and has had at least 14 bullet wounds in his body.

He had been feuding with the gang led by freed drugs trafficker John Gilligan in the 1990's which led to many of the attempts on his life.

In the last major attack on his life, he was shot numerous times in broad daylight in Dublin in January 2008.

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