Veteran gangster Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley warned of ‘severe’ threat on his life and goes into hiding
- 24 Feb 2020, 7:30 Up Dated by Fred Bassett
VETERAN gangster Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley is at the centre of a sinister new death threat, the Irish Sun can reveal.
Foley — who survived a previous attempt on his life by a Kinahan cartel hitman — was officially warned by gardai in Crumlin, south Dublin, earlier this month.
The criminal, 66, has now gone to ground after he received an official Garda Information Message form about the threat to his life from associates of Kildare-based criminal Troy Jordan.
Although the pensioner has received dozens of threats to his life over the years, the new threat has been classed as “severe”.
It has led to the gangland hardman being left spooked and going to ground.
One theory is that he has been targeted by Jordan’s associates in a row over cash.
Gardai are also examining a list of the criminal’s enemies over the years.
One source told us: “Foley has been down this road many times before but he has definitely been rattled by this threat.
“There are different levels of threat and this one is at the higher end scale.
“This could be related to something from his past that could come back to haunt him.
“It seems to have come out of nowhere for Foley and he’s afraid because he wasn’t expecting it.
“Gardai have spoken to him and advised him of his security and he’s taking it very seriously.”
YOGA SWITCH UP
We can also reveal the fitness fanatic has changed his yoga routines.
He had been attending classes at an industrial estate but switched over fears he could be an easy target.
One local told us: “He loves going to his classes but he knows there was only one way in and out.
“Foley has kept the head down recently and was definitely changing his routine his recent days.
“People are talking about the threat in the area against him but they also know if someone can survive a threat on his life it’s him.
“He has connections to many criminals and is still well liked despite his low profile in recent times.
“It does appear he’s certainly under a lot of pressure at the moment.”
Officers working under Operation Hybrid — launched to keep the feuding Kinahan and Hutch factions from striking at each other — have also been notified of the threat to Foley’s life.
At present, officers across Crumlin are staging over 60 armed patrols per week both day and night.
Checkpoints have also been established in the Crumlin area.
The aim of the operation is to prevent gangsters from moving weapons and drugs and to prevent hit teams from targeting their enemies.
Some of the checkpoints have also been staged close to Foley’s home.
And as the Viper attempts to stay one step ahead of his enemies, we can also reveal he has still to settle his €750,000 bill with the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Although a judgment was made against the criminal earlier this month at the Supreme Court over his unpaid tax, no payment has been made.
Investigators at CAB are now looking at ways of recouping the cash from one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals.
As the CAB probe into Foley continues, they are considering seizing the cash from his bank accounts or recruiting the Revenue Sheriff to seize his home in Crumlin.
Another option is to seek approval from the High Court to seize his other assets.
A source said: “CAB are now taking steps to enforce the decision of the Supreme Court and are looking at a number of options.”
Foley had been ordered to pay the Criminal Assets Bureau a tax and interest bill of €738,449.270 for 1993-1994 and 1999-2000.
‘TAKEN BY SURPRISE’
He claimed he had been “taken by surprise” by the proceedings and was prejudiced because of an “inordinate and inexcusable delay”.
The Court of Criminal Appeal ruled last November he had “no case” and dismissed his appeal.
In its judgment earlier this month, the Supreme Court said: “The court’s scarce resources must be managed in a manner consistent with the proper administration of justice and that warrants that the court’s time be reserved to hear and determine legal issues which are potentially sustainable.
“And it is the view of this court that the appeal proposed by the applicant is clearly not sustainable.
“In this case the proceedings were issued on March 8, 2013 and the motion for judgment followed on September 26, 2013. Hence, there was no delay which could be relied upon to invoke the court’s jurisdiction.”
Foley has claimed to have left a life of crime behind him and established debt collection agency Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services.
During his criminal career, he was part of the gang headed up by Martin ‘The General’ Cahill, who was shot dead outside his Dublin home in 1994.
Foley was once close to Christy ‘Dapper Don’ Kinahan, John Gilligan and other senior criminals. But he was later ousted as a criminal hardman by a new breed of criminal in the Crumlin area.
Ian Bailey’s challenge to Gardai prosecuting him for drug driving adjourned
They included Fat Freddie Thompson and Brian ‘King Ratt’ Rattigan.
Although Foley had connections to both criminals, he refused to take sides in the Crumlin and Drimnagh feud.
And he also vowed to keep away from the feuding factions in the ongoing Kinahan and Hutch feud.
THE MAN THEY COULDN’T KILL
MARTIN ‘The Viper’ Foley, 66, is the gangster rivals just can’t kill, having survived four assassination attempts.
The most recent one was back in 2008 when he was hit four times as he left the Carlisle gym in Kimmage, south Dublin.
In 2000, a Provisional IRA plot was foiled when the gunmen were intercepted by gardai.
Then in September of that year, assassins tried to kill him as he left Terenure College’s pool.
He was hit in the leg but the gun jammed before the fatal head shot. Foley also survived two kill bids by Brian Meehan, who was later convicted for the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.
All the attempts have left 14 bullets in his body.
Foley was rescued by gardai after he was abducted by the IRA in 1984 but refused to co-operate with them. More recently he set up debt collection agency Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services.
The notorious gangland figure is a one-time member of the crime gang headed by Martin ‘the General’ Cahill.
Earlier this month he was refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court a tax and interest judgment of almost €750,000.
The 66-year-old from Dublin had been ordered to pay the Criminal Assets Bureau a tax and interest bill of €738,449.270 for the years 1993-1994 and 1999-2000.
Foley claimed he had been “taken by surprise” by the proceedings and was prejudiced because of an “inordinate and inexcusable delay”.
But the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled last November he had “no case” and dismissed his appeal.
Martin “The Viper” Foley (born 24 November 1952) is a well-known Irish criminal. He rose from a street drug dealer to become an associate of Martin Cahill. Foley has 40 convictions, and is considered a key figure in the McCormack-Foley crime family from Crumlin, Dublin. He has had several attempts on his life including being shot on five occasions, most recently on 26 January 2008. Foley was shot a number of times outside the Carlisle gym on Kimmage Road West, South Dublin. The men behind the attack were involved in a separate gun feud, which has since run its course because the main players are all either dead or in prison. Foley has kept a lower profile since then.
A well known Dublin gangland criminal, Foley’s first conviction was in 1968. Since then he has been a member of Martin Cahill’s criminal gang, and jailed for numerous offences including breaking a police officer’s jaw.
An attack on 26 January 2008 was the fourth time Foley has been shot; in 1995 outside Fatima Mansions, in 1996 by the convicted murderer Brian Meehan, and in 2000 as he left a swimming pool in Terenure. This shooting is believed to be linked to the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, with Foley aligned to one of the feuding gangs. He was also abducted by the Provisional IRA in 1984, but escaped following a shoot-out in Phoenix Park between the kidnappers and Gardaí.
Criminal Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley in tense stand-off with gardaí as they carry out major arrest operation
Martin ‘The Viper Foley’ and inset, a photo of the tense stand-off
August 11 2018 03:47 PM
VETERAN criminal Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley was involved in a tense stand-off with gardai as they carried out a major arrest operation close to his Crumlin home this week.
Our photos show ‘The Viper’ who was clad in biker gear – remonstrating with officers who sources say felt “intimida ted” by his presence at the scene.
Despite numerous attempts by Independent.ie to contact Foley in the aftermath of the melee, he did not return our phone calls.
‘The Viper’ was “not directly involved” in the “major public order incident” and there are no plans to arrest him in relation to it, according to senior sources.
Gardai at the scene of the arrest operation
These are the first images of Foley (68) since he was spotted driving a white van and chatting to a number of men outside a north inner city pub in which the Kinahan cartel had previously plotted to murder a Hutch gang-linked criminal last year.
Exact details of Wednesday night’s arrest operation cannot be outlined for legal reasons but more than a dozen officers were involved in the arrest of a man who is well known to Foley.
This suspect has been brought before the courts and remanded in custody.
He was charged with numerous offences and is expected to be charged in relation to even more serious offences in the coming weeks.
While gardai described Wednesday night’s incident as “serious and disturbing ”, they also pointed out that the vast majority of people who live in the locality where it happened are “decent and law-abiding.”
The same cannot be said of Foley, who is one of Ireland’s best known criminals but also a fitness fanatic who loves participating in yoga and other health-conscious activities.
‘The Viper’ has more than 40 convictions, including for assault, robbery and possession of threatening weapons, but has not been charged with a criminal offence for many years.
Foley has links to both factions in the brutal Hutch/Kinahan feud.
In the aftermath of the Regency Hotel bloodbath in 2016, gardai issued him with an official Information Message form (GIM), warning him of an active threat to his life.
However, there have been no major issues with Foley since then and no attempts to murder him.
‘Viper’ disappears after pledge to help solve billion-dollar Boston art mystery
Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley. Photo: Collins
October 11 2020 06:54 PM
Veteran criminal Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley has vanished from negotiations to find the whereabouts of a number of valuable masterpieces stolen from a Boston art gallery in a billion-dollar raid 30 years ago, according to a British detective.
The works by artists including Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas and Manet, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum.
The culprits were two men dressed as police officers, who handcuffed the guards in the early hours of March 18, 1990.
The museum is offering a $10m reward for information leading to the paintings’ recovery.
British detective Charles Hill, a former head of the Met Police’s art and antiques squad who recovered Edvard Munch’s The Scream in 1994, believes there is an Irish link to the crime.
But according to The Guardian, Foley, who is a former associate of Russborough House art thief Martin ‘The General’ Cahill, has vanished while promising to help reunite the public with the stolen works.
Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley
It is believed that Foley guided Hill towards a potential deal with the surviving members of a gang he claims took the art.
The claims are made in a new BBC4 documentary called The Billion Dollar Art Hunt due to be broadcast next week.
However, after publicity about the negotiations emerged, Foley (66) has “dropped out of sight”.
It is understood he is in hiding after a warning from the gardaí of a threat to his life.
In February, Foley reached the end of the road in his quest to avoid paying a €740,000 tax bill after losing a Supreme Court appeal against the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
‘The Viper’ had previously tried to have the matter relating to a 1990s income tax bill quashed by the Court of Appeal, which ruled against him last November. Foley then lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court who came back in favour of the CAB.
In his initial defence against the tax bill, Foley claimed he had been “taken by surprise”, and had been left in “an almost impossible situation”, saying the CAB had failed to explain why it took 11 years to bring the judgment application.
Foley is one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals, and has survived four attacks on his life in which he suffered around 14 bullet wounds.
He later set up a debt recovery business called Viper Debt Recovery And Repossession Services Limited, offering his services in collecting debts for clients.
He has to pay a CAB tax and interest, which has ballooned the total bill to more than €738,000 for the years 1993/94 and 1999/2000.
‘The Viper’ was hit with a tax bill of €218,000 for the years 1993-94 and 1999-2000.
He made payments totalling €40,000, reducing the bill to €178,000. In February 2002, he brought an appeal against the assessment, which was rejected.
However, the bill ballooned because of interest and penalties on the unpaid sum over more than 11 years.
The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have ruled he had “no case” and dismissed his appeals.
The Billion Dollar Art Theft will be broadcast on BBC 4 on Monday October 19 at 9pm.