Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness is alleged to have helped the IRA to bomb the City of London in the 1990s.
McGuinness, 54, was the main suspect in the investigation into the kidnap and torture of NI businessman Kevin Lunney, but died during a police raid in Derbyshire today.
He became ill as police searched his home in Buxton on Friday morning.
McGuinness, from Newbliss, Co Monaghan, is also believed to have co-ordinated the illegal dumping of waste from the republic at sites across Northern Ireland.
The Irish government agreed to pay the clean-up costs with contractors removing 4,500 tonnes of refuse from one site at Slattinagh, Co Fermanagh in 2010.
Another 10,000 tonnes of refuse dumped at another location near Trillick, Co Tyrone, was also to be removed. The operations represented phase one of plan to remove thousands of tonnes of waste from 50 illegal dumps in Northern Ireland, located mostly along the border, at an estimated cost of €30m.
The Garda and PSNI believed McGuinness directed the illegal dumping racket from an office in NI using a front company, the Sunday Times reported in 2010.
McGuinness and his associates may have earned as much as €2.6m from the illegal waste operation.
McGuinness faced a seven-year prison term in Belgium for the theft of heavy plant machinery. He lost an appeal against the conviction in 2010 and extradition attempts were expected at that time.
The charges related to the theft of 23 items worth €2.6m in Belgium and Holland between 2006 and 2008. Among them were tractors and diggers which were smuggled to eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
McGuinness is alleged to have been involved in the IRA’s bombing campaign in London, the Sunday Times reported. Two months after the IRA bombed Bishopsgate in April 1993, the Met issued a photofit of McGuinness, but he had gone on the run. He was reportedly no longer involved in the republican movement by 2010.
In the book ‘Martin McGuinness from Guns to Government’ by Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston, the authors say that former MI5 officer David Shayler revealed in 2000 that MI5 and the Metropolitan police anti-terrorist squad had kept regular surveillance on Cyril ‘Jimmy’ McGuinness.
Contrary a claim in the book, however, the News Letter understands that McGuinness was not in fact a cousin of the former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, though may have liked to boast that he was to ‘big himself up’.
Clarke and Johnston wrote that Shayler claimed in Punch Magazine that bungling by MI5 in 1992 allowed McGuinness to escape arrest.
“Two months after the Bishopsgate bomb in London on 24 April 1993, the Met issued a photofit picture of Cyril McGuinness, but by that time he had gone on the run to the Irish Republic.
“In November 1995, he was fined one thousand five hundred pounds for refusing to complete an embarkation card at Cairnryan ferry port.
“Shortly after the Docklands lorry bomb which had marked the end of the first ceasefire on 9 February 1996 and had killed two people, he was arrested in Britain again - bolt cutters found in his car after a police search were allegedly linked to the theft of agricultural fertiliser in the south of England. The six-foot man, who lived in a mobile home at Rosslea, Co. Fermanagh at the time, was released on police bail and returned to Northern Ireland.”
A well placed source in Fermangh told the News Letter that his name had been “cropping up” for a long time in relation to criminal activity in the area.
“He had a lot of convictions for waste related crime and security sources had been linking him directing to the intimidation of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) for some time.”
“A QIH contact advised me he was their chief suspect in the long term sabotage of the company’s wind turbines. They used to break into the base stations and smash up the motors.
“The QIH contact said McGuinness was broadly leading the criminals in this activity”.
The News Letter source said they would have seen McGuinness in protests against the new management takeover of the company after the departure of founder Sean Quinn.
“There was always the suggestion he was in the Provos but we didn’t know if he had any convictions.
“Security sources in Fermanagh believed he was being paid to attack QIH.”
“He was probably like a professional footballer. He loved the work but he loved being paid to do it even more.”
“Most of his gang would have been local but he had Dublin connections and at least one of the gang was thought to be from Dublin.”
The founder of the company, Sean Quinn, has repeatedly condemned all violence aimed against QIH and called for it to stop.