Cyril McGuinness was the 'Boss' called by Kevin Lunney kidnappers during raid
THE convicted criminal who died suddenly when police raided a house in Derbyshire is believed to be the "boss" rung by Kevin Lunney's abductors during his abduction.
Cyril McGuinness (54), also known as 'Dublin Jimmy', collapsed yesterday just minutes after armed officers arrived at the Buxton home where he has been staying for the last number of months.
From Derrylin in Co Fermanagh, he was widely believed to be the crime boss who put together the gang responsible for the kidnapping and torture of the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Kevin Lunney in September.
Police from three separate forces working in tandem took part in raids in Fermanagh, Dublin, Cavan, Longford and Derbyshire yesterday.
The operation involved hundreds of specialised officers. While items were removed for examination, no arrests were made.
An Garda Síochána said the searches were "a valuable step in the evidence gathering stage of this ongoing criminal investigation" as they attempt to bring those behind the abduction to justice.
Well known to police across Europe with more than 50 convictions, a post mortem will be carried out to establish the cause of McGuinness's death.
While in ill-health and not thought to be directly involved in the abduction of Mr Lunney, he was the leader of the gang who carried out the attack - the most serious in a long campaign of intimidation targeting QIH and its directors.
In an interview with BBC Spotlight earlier this week, Mr Lunney revealed that during his ordeal one of his abductors made a phone call and said "Boss, this man is resisting".
The man on the other end of that call is believed by police to have been Cyril McGuinness.
PSNI and Garda chiefs yesterday announced that police and prosecutors on both sides of the border had agreed to establish a landmark "joint investigation" into the intimidation campaign.
Gardaí yesterday searched five locations in Co Cavan, three in Co Longford and four in Dublin, while the PSNI also searched five locations in Derrylin.