Gardai are probing whether terror boss Dessie 'Border Fox' O'Hare was kidnapped and given a severe beating in an incident in north Dublin.
O'Hare told officers he was struck by a black jeep that hit him after it mounted a footpath in Clontarf yesterday -- but no one witnessed the incident, which is said to have happened at the junction of Seafield Road East and Seafield Avenue at around 5.30pm yesterday,
O'Hare is in the Mater Hospital today where he is being treated for a broken shoulder, broken nose and cuts to his face.
A source explained: "There is a possibility that no hit-and-run happened and that in fact O'Hare was kidnapped and given a hiding.
"At first, he claimed he was hit by a dark Ford Transit van driven by a male driver and he did not see what direction it went in after hitting him.
"He told gardai he was on the way to meet a fella and gave them that person's name but follow-up inquiries showed there was no one of that name living in the area.
"And last night in hospital he claimed he could remember nothing of the incident."
O'Hare is regularly spotted in the Clontarf area, which is the base of one of the convicted terrorist's closest pals, Eamon Kelly from nearby Furry Park Road, Killester.
Sources believe O'Hare may "seek revenge" against those involved in the attack on him.
The former INLA boss is one of Ireland's most feared crime figures and was last photographed when he attended the funeral of Eamon Kelly's wife, Ann, at St Brigid's Church, Killester.
O'Hare has become very close to Kelly -- who survived a Real IRA assassination attempt last year -- after previously being friendly with slain gang boss Martin, 'Marlo' Hyland, who was shot dead in December 2006.
O'Hare and Kelly have been spotted with each other in pubs in Clontarf. O'Hare also has links to the arson suspect who gardai believe is responsible for the murder of tragic Mari Connolly (5) in Boyle, Co Roscommon, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Dubbed the Border Fox, O'Hare was released from prison in April 2006 after serving 19 years for kidnapping and has lived in Dublin since then.
He was released under the Good Friday Agreement after being given a 40-year sentence for kidnapping and mutilating Dublin dentist John O'Grady in 1987. During the kidnapping, a section of two of Dr O'Grady's fingers were hacked off by O'Hare using a hammer and chisel.
Gardai rescued Dr O'Grady, but O'Hare escaped. He was eventually caught after a shoot-out in Co Kilkenny. He was jailed for 40 years and in 2000 began a legal challenge to force the State to release him under the Good Friday Agreement.
He claimed that he had reformed, taken up yoga and attended the Glencree Centre for Reconciliation in Co Wicklow, under the supervision of prison officers.
O'Hare, originally from Co Armagh, is the last of the State's inmates to have qualified for early release under the terms of the agreement. He was in the IRA before joining the INLA. and rising to become its leader.