Jim Mansfield Jnr forced to drop case against Sunday World for exposing criminal links
Despite spending years demanding apologies, retractions and compensation, Mansfield recently contacted us through his lawyer who said he wanted to drop the case
16th August 2022 at 08:59
Disgraced former playboy Jim Mansfield Jnr’s ‘annus horribilis’ has gone from bad to worse after the former millionaire was forced to drop a five-year legal case against the Sunday World for exposing his links to criminals.
Despite spending years demanding apologies, retractions and compensation from the Sunday World for a series of articles written about him, Mansfield recently contacted us through his lawyer who said he wanted to drop the case.
- He later agreed to pay a donation towards our legal costs to the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation charity.
The move comes months after Daniel Kinahan and his criminal sidekick Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh were named as respondents in a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) case taken against the jailed businessman.
The High Court heard that Mansfield Jnr was given two suitcases containing €4.5 million as part of a property investment by the Kinahan Cartel, which he was to launder through his empire.
However, when the Mansfield fortune went into receivership, he had to hand Kinahan and Kavanagh his mother Anne’s luxury home as well as a cash as repayment for their doomed investment.
Now, CAB has secured orders to seize the mansion – valued at more than €1 million – at Coldwater Lakes, Saggart, Co. Dublin, and cash sums totalling €50,000.
- Earlier this year, Mansfield was jailed for 18 months for attempting to pervert the course of justice as part of a plot to kidnap a former employee by members of a terror mob headed up by ‘Border Fox’ Dessie O’Hare.
And while 2022 has been an ‘annus horribilis’ for the son of the late Jim Mansfield Snr, it might not be over yet.
The Sunday Worldcan reveal that Mansfield is facing another potential wave of exposure as a number of files have been forwarded to the DPP in relation to a multi-million euro VAT fraud, understood to have been run through a company linked to him.
Gardai believe millions of euro may have been defrauded from the State in the scam, which involved hiring out staff to the hotel industry.
It was the raids on the Mansfield home at Tasaggart House that prompted a series of investigations into dirty money, fraud and criminality which have been on-going for almost a decade.
Following the operation, Jimmy Jnr wrote a letter of complaint to the then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, saying that officers investigating money laundering had “terrorised” him.
In the note, he complained about his treatment at the hands of gardai during the raid, which saw documents, cash, antiques and paintings seized.
He then issued legal proceedings against the Sunday World for a series of articles linking his late father, Jim Snr, and himself to a who’s-who of underworld criminals and traveller gangs.
In a nine-page legal document, he complained that he and his family had been subject to an extended ‘campaign of vilification’ and demanded ‘appropriate compensation’ for the damage to his reputation.
He cited the campaign dating back ten years and first focusing on Mansfield Snr, with suggestions that he was ‘very heavily involved in organised crime, working alongside large wholesale drug dealers’ – which, he stated, ‘blithely’ portrayed him as a willing accomplice.
“The sheer scale of criminality, its lengthy duration and the fact that much of it was alleged to have been perpetrated from within the family home, would lead any reader to conclude that Jim Mansfield Jnr was a participant in such crimes, or at the very least acquiesced in them and was and remains content to profit from his father’s criminal activities.”
In the first letter, Mansfield Jnr also stated that the CAB investigation into him had concluded in 2017 with no findings.
“The articles published by your newspaper amount to a concerted attack on our client’s reputation… His reputation, both personal and in his professional capacity, has been seriously damaged. He has suffered grave hurt, humiliation and embarrassment,” it stated.
Among the demands issued were an unreserved apology, proposals for compensation and admission that our articles were ‘sensationalist in style and devoid of evidence’.
Now, gardai are investigating that just two years before he issued the summons, the convicted fraudster James ‘Fat Boy’ O’Gorman had moved into the family home and is understood to have set up the VAT scam in order to raise funds for the Mansfields, who were deeply indebted to members of the criminal underworld.
O’Gorman remains out of the jurisdiction as the probe continues.
O’Gorman, who once had links to drug dealer Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland, moved his offices into the Mansfield family’s home beside the City West Hotel while he put together a series of plans to raise funds to claw back key assets, including ‘Paddy Reilly’s Field’ – a piece of land which at the back of the City West Hotel – and Finnstown House Hotel.
Officers believe the VAT fraud scam netted the crumbled Mansfield empire at least €12,000 a week.
The CAB case also heard that in 2014, three years before Mansfield issued the proceedings, Daniel Kinahan had taken control of 10 Coldwater Lakes, which he had been given after his drug money went into the red.
The court heard that there was also attempts to convey legitimate ownership of the property to jailed godfather Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh.
Evidence was given that the Garda investigation recovered ledgers which tracked payments between the Mansfields and the Kinahan Cartel.
Disgraced Mansfield Jnr was once set to inherit his father’s vast property empire.
And in an effort to claw it back, the Special Criminal Court heard, he employed a collection of paramilitaries and fraudsters – which ended in a terrifying kidnap of his father’s former head of security, Martin Byrne.
Mansfield’s fall from grace has been one of the most spectacular in living history.
Once the playboy prince of the Celtic Tiger era, he entertained celebrities and lived in the stately Palmerstown House near Naas, Co. Kildare, with a jacuzzi on the roof and a herd of llamas grazing on the vast lawns.
He was linked with model Katy French and gave gardai a statement after her untimely death from a cocaine overdose, saying that he had let her stay in one of his City West apartments as he owned more than 200.
Dogged by rumours for years of links to criminality, both Mansfield Snr and Jnr fiercely defended themselves.
‘Senior’ spoke out about ‘rumours’ that circulated after an aviation broker known as ‘The Boxer’ got 12 years for conspiring to import €7 million worth of heroin and cocaine from Belgium through the then family-owned Weston airport.
The plane was owned by Mansfield and had been rented for the round trip which went awry in September 2006.
“I’ve heard the rumours but they don’t bother me in the slightest,” he said of allegations that drugs were being regularly run through the private Weston airport.
“It’s a load of absolute nonsense. A lot of it is down to jealousy.”
“The people who are spreading these rumours are definitely liars in my opinion, because they have no such proof and if they have then the police should know about it, or we should know about it.”
Mansfield Jnr would later tell the Sunday World: “We are not drug dealers.