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Gaunt 'kidnap' tycoon released after garda quiz

As the car moved away from the station, McGeever pulled the hat down further to cover his entire face.

However, it was clear that his physical appearance has vastly changed when compared to images of him during the heyday of his property boom.

McGeever (68) refused to comment when he was released.

But a garda source revealed that the former tycoon was determinedly sticking to his story that he had been kidnapped and held in an unknown location for eight months.

decision

A source close to the investigation said that the Mayo man had been "down in himself" during his stay at Gort Garda Station, but was continuing to insist on his version of events.

Gardai now intend to send a file to the DPP requesting a decision on whether to charge him with wasting garda time.

McGeever, from Swinford, Co Mayo, was arrested in Craughwell by officers on a charge of withholding information.

The former tycoon was detained on Thursday afternoon under the Criminal Justice Act. He was brought to Gort Garda Station in Co Galway where he was held until shortly after 9pm last night.

He remained in the garda station until a car arrived, leaving the station at about 9.30pm.

He had been in the station for close to 33 hours in total.

Mr McGeever was visited twice during his time in custody by his solicitor, once on Thursday night and once again yesterday morning. He was also brought food by an officer at lunchtime.

plastic

The station where he was held is the same one where a missing person's report was filed about the businessman by his partner, Siobhan O'Callaghan, last June, a month after he had disappeared.

His story has baffled the country since he was found disorientated and starving on a country road in January 29.

He mysteriously turned up on the road near Ballinamore in Co Leitrim, barefoot, hungry and covered in a plastic bag. He had the word 'thief' written across his forehead.

He had no money, but did have a mobile phone and a torch.

He was reported to be emaciated and was suffering from dehydration.

His beard and fingernails were long.

When he was discovered wandering barefoot on the road near the Cavan-Leitrim border, the businessman told gardai he had been abducted from the garden of his €3m Craughwell home 'Nirvana' at gunpoint by masked men eight months earlier. He claimed to have been held for a ransom.

abductors

However, concerns about his story arose after he was unable to supply any details about his captivity or on his abductors.

He was also unable to shed any light on why he may have been kidnapped.

He had told the couple who first found him that he had been dumped out of a van by three men, that he did not know where he was or what day of the week it was.

He was taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

He left the hospital before making a full disclosure to gardai about what had happened to him.

It's understood gardai have spoken to him on a number of occasions since, but have been unable to find any evidence of a threat or ransom demand.

It will now be up to the DPP whether or not to pursue a case against Mr McGeever.

hnews@herald.ie


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