Plumber finds €140,000 stashed under bath in ex-IRA man's mansion

House had been repossessed after former hunger-striker Tom McFeely went bankrupt - now investigation must determine who owns the money

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A plumber has stumbled upon €140,000 (£118,000) stashed under a bath in the former home of an ex-IRA prisoner.

The house was repossessed last year from Tom McFeely, a bankrupt one-time billionaire who served 12 years in prison for shooting a police officer in Derry.

According to reports in the Irish Independent, an investigation is now underway by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

The money was found at a mansion on Ailesbury Road in the high-end Ballsbridge region of south Dublin, and officers from the CAB now need to determine who legally owns the money.

Mr McFeely spent time behind bars in the Maze Prison after he killed an RUC officer, and spent 53 days without food during the 1980 hunger strikes.

He is now a property developer, but has continued to appear in the news – most recently being embroiled in a court case involving the controversial Priory Hall development in Donaghmede, north Dublin.

Some 65 families were forced to move out of the complex in October 2011 after experts deemed it a fire hazard and a string of construction defects were found.

Fiachra Daly, a former resident, took his own life in July.

His partner Stephanie Meehan has said he had been under stress following the evacuation from their home.

Mr McFeely, originally from Derry, avoided going back behind bars last July after successfully overturning a contempt of court judgment.

The developer appealed against a judgment that he broke court orders.

He had been ordered by the High Court in Dublin to carry out remedial works at Priory Hall, but was sentenced and fined when he did not.

Barristers for Mr McFeely appealed it was impossible for their client to comply with orders because he had been evicted from the site.

The state's bad bank, the National Assets Management Agency (Nama), took over Mr McFeely's Ballsbridge mansion after he was declared bankrupt last summer.

It was placed on the market at three million euro - just a fraction of previous valuations of around €15 million.

The house was sold and renovations are now under way.

Mr McFeely has claimed in the past that he has bank debts in excess of €200 million.

Additional reporting by PA