An EU arrest warrant has been issued for wife-killer Dermot McArdle, who has failed to return to Spain to begin a prison sentence.
Former factory manager McArdle (40) had been due to begin a two-year sentence last month for the manslaughter of his wife Kelly Anne Corcoran.
The mother-of-two died from injuries sustained when she plunged from a hotel balcony while on a family holiday in Marbella in February 2000.
Malaga-based Judge Fernando Gonzalez signed the arrest warrant yesterday.
McArdle has been free on bail since his conviction two years ago and has exhausted all avenues of appeal against his sentence.
The warrant is now due to be translated into English and will be forwarded to the gardai via European crime-fighting agency Europol in the coming days.
Once an EU arrest warrant is executed, a wanted person has to be extradited within 90 days. There are only limited circumstances under which an Irish court will refuse extradition.
Spanish authorities had asked McArdle to turn himself in by September 15 to start his jail sentence.
His legal team was informed last week that the warrant was about to be issued, but it made no official response.
McArdle also refused to comment last night. His wife (29) died two days after falling from the balcony of room 421 of Marbella's five-star Melia Don Pepe Hotel following an argument with McArdle.