Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

€200,000 found in house is not mine, says ex-IRA man Tom McFeely

Tom McFeely prospered as a property developer in the Republic after his release from jail
Tom McFeely prospered as a property developer in the Republic after his release from jail

A former IRA hunger striker has denied all knowledge of two stashes of cash found in the bathroom of his former Dublin home.

A hoard of €200,000 (£170,000) was found in the bathroom of the house that was owned by Tom McFeely in south Dublin last month.

McFeely, originally from Dungiven in Co Londonderry, prospered as a property developer in the Republic after his release from jail in 1989.

But his luxurious home, Coolbawn, on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4 was seized by Ireland’s National Assets Management Agency in 2012 after he was declared bankrupt.

The McFeely family was ordered to move out of the property by Dublin High Court, because of a default on a €9.5m (£7.5m) mortgage. It was once worth more than €15m (£12.6m), but was sold for around €3m (£2.5m) earlier this year.

Recently a plumber found €140,000 (£120,000) in bundles of €50 notes wrapped in rubber bands and plastic bags when he was working for the new owners.

After he alerted authorities, search teams from the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau searched the house and grounds. They found a second stash of €60,000 (£50,000) near the first one.

McFeely has denied all knowledge of the money.

He told the Irish Mail on Sunday that it is not his and therefore he will not not be asking for it. He told a reporter: “What money? Was there money under the bath? It’s not mine.”

He alleged it was planted there in a conspiracy against him.

McFeely served a lengthy sentence for attempted murder of police, possession of weapons and a post office robbery.

He went on to spend 53 days on hunger strike in the Maze prison in 1980. When McFeely was released from prison in 1989, he moved to Dublin where he began work in the building trade, became a multi-millionaire property developer and bought the Ailesbury Road house where the cash was found.

However, his business was ruined after a fire safety controversy over an apartment block that his company built in Dublin.

His firm, Coalport Developments, faced High Court action over claims the Priory Hall building breached fire safety rules.

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