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Wednesday 11 December 2019

Dublin Jimmy had cup of tea and 3 cigarettes before collapse in raid

Cyril 'Dublin Jimmy' McGuinness
Cyril 'Dublin Jimmy' McGuinness

A convicted criminal considered a key suspect in the kidnapping and torture of businessman Kevin Lunney died from a suspected "cardiac event" after being handcuffed during his arrest, an inquest has heard.

Cyril McGuinness, known as 'Dublin Jimmy', was seen to smoke three cigarettes and drink a cup of tea while sitting on a sofa following his arrest at around 7am in the Buxton area of Derbyshire on November 8.

Chesterfield Coroner's Court was told McGuinness, who "already had a diseased heart", collapsed 60 to 90 minutes later at the address on Rockfield Road and was pronounced dead at around 10am.

Mastermind

Police called an ambulance and attempted resuscitation immediately but the 54-year-old died almost three hours after his arrest.

McGuinness, who was known as 'Dublin Jimmy' because he was originally from Swords, had more than 50 criminal convictions, including in Ireland, the UK, Serbia and Belgium, and was involved in the theft of mechanical vehicles.

He had also been investigated over a spate of ATM robberies on both sides of the Border in recent months and was considered the mastermind behind the abduction of Mr Lunney.

The raid during which he died was part of a co-ordinated series of search operations, linked to the brutal attack on Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Mr Lunney in September.

Father-of-six Mr Lunney (50) was abducted outside his home near Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and taken to a horsebox across the Border, where he was savagely beaten.

His attackers broke his leg, sliced his fingernails and face with a Stanley knife, carved QIH on his chest, and doused him in bleach.

The attack was the most serious in a five-year campaign of intimidation targeting the companies and directors that now control the business portfolio built up by fallen tycoon Sean Quinn, once Ireland's richest man.

Over the weekend, three people arrested in connection with the investigation into the abduction of Mr Lunney were released without charge.

The operation during which McGuinness died also saw gardai raid properties of two north inner city Dublin criminals they believe had a central role in the abduction and brutal torture of Mr Lunney.

In Co Longford, a notorious Traveller gang was targeted in three searches, including at two 'chop-shop garages' in Granard and Edgeworthstown.

They are suspected of being enlisted by the McGuinness gang to "dispose" of a car used by the Dublin criminals to travel to and from the scene of the attack on Mr Lunney.

The opening of the inquest yesterday was told "no trauma" had led to McGuinness's death and it was likely that he died as a result of a cardiac event due to an "already diseased heart".

Giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Steve Simmons said the death was automatically referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Outlining the events leading up to McGuinness's death, Det Sgt Simmons said: "The circumstances are that Derbyshire Police attended an address in Buxton at the request of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

"Mr McGuinness was arrested at about 7am, was placed in handcuffs, and approximately an hour to an hour-and-a-half later, he collapsed.

"During that time there was a search of his property."

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter adjourned the inquest until the conclusion of the IOPC investigation.

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