'Mad Dog' McGlinchey is shot dead

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ONE of Ireland's most notorious terrorist killers, Dominic 'Mad Dog' McGlinchey, was last night shot dead in what appeared to be a feud shooting in Ireland.

McGlinchey, who once admitted being involved in 'around 30' killings in Northern Ireland, was blasted to death by gunmen who used pump-action shotguns in an ambush in the Co Louth town of Drogheda. His 18-year-old son was with him when he died.

A former 'chief of staff' of the Irish National Liberation Army, he had been a marked man since being released from prison in the Republic last year. He had already survived one attempt on his life - in June a bullet lodged in his skull but did not kill him.

It had been an open secret that he was on the death list of a prominent republican family based in the border area of south Armagh. The family held McGlinchey and his late wife, Mary, responsible for killing one of their number in 1983. Family members shot dead Mrs McGlinchey in 1987 and have since reputedly been waiting their chance to kill her husband.

A native of south Londonderry, McGlinchey was originally an IRA member and in the late 1970s led a much-feared gang held responsible for the killing of members of the security forces. However, he was considered ill-disciplined by the IRA and broke with it.

Switching allegiance to the smaller INLA, he instituted a wave of violence in border areas. The 1982 shootings of republicans by the RUC, later became known as the 'Stalker affair,' were reputedly aimed at eliminating McGlinchey.

In a 1983 newspaper interview he claimed he had carried out about 30 murders and more than 200 other operations against the security forces. Those included the 1982 Ballykelly disco bombing in which six soldiers and 11 civilians were killed.

He made legal history by becoming the first republican to be extradited from the Republic to the North. Previous extradition requests had been rejected when defendants claimed the offence was politically motivated, but the Irish supreme court said the charge against him - the 'revolting and cowardly crime' of shooting an elderly woman - could not be described as political activity.

McGlinchey was handed over in March 1984. In Belfast he was tried and convicted of murder but his conviction was quashed on appeal. In 1985 he was re-extradited to the Republic. There he was convicted of firearms offences and served seven years of a 10-year sentence before his release last year. In prison he moved away from paramilitary activity and was described as a model prisoner.

The INLA still exists in a small way in Northern Ireland but, since the jailing of McGlinchey and other leading figures, it is not regarded as a major menace.

IRA team jailed, page 2

Conor Cruise O'Brien, page 18

(Photograph omitted)