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Saturday, 28 May 2011

feared gangland figure who has been on the run for almost a year and a half is now based in the Turkish resort of Kusadasi.

07:59 |

Jeffrey Finnegan (31) from Finglas, north Dublin, absconded from Shelton Abbey open prison in Co Wicklow in December 2009 after being granted temporary release for Christmas.

Sources say Finnegan fled Ireland using a false passport just hours after his jail release and then travelled to mainland Europe. Intelligence received by gardai indicates that he has been based in Turkey for "some months now".

Known as a violent criminal, Finnegan was arrested by gardai investigating the murders of innocent women Donna Cleary and Baiba Saulite in 2006 but he was never charged in relation to these crimes.

A member of Marlo Hyland's notorious crime gang, Finnegan was shot in the neck and back as part of a bitter internal feud in that mob just weeks before Hyland was murdered.

The shooting incident happened in Annamoe Parade, Cabra, in December 2006.

From Rathvilly Drive, Finglas, Finnegan is a convicted drug dealer who was a close associate of slain gangster John Daly , the armed robber who was shot dead in October, 2007 -- less than six months after calling RTE's Liveline show on an illegal mobile phone from Portlaoise Prison.

Our photograph shows Finnegan partying with his childhood friend Daly just weeks before Daly was gunned down as he sat in a taxi outside his Finglas home. The party was organised to celebrate Daly's release from prison.

In July 2008, Finnegan was given a four-year jail sentence for offences including unlawful use of a stolen car, dangerous driving and no insurance as well as assault causing harm and burglary.

The court heard at that time, that Finnegan had 47 previous convictions -- the most serious being a six-year sentence he got after being caught with cocaine and ecstasy valued at IR£150,000.

In March 2009, Finnegan was one of the ring-leaders of a mini-riot at Dublin's Mountjoy prison.
Prison sources concede that the decision to transfer such a dangerous prisoner to an open prison was "very strange" and it was "bizarre" that he was given temporary release just months after being involved in a jail riot.

Gardai say that the gangster "will be arrested on sight" if he returns to Ireland.

According to figures released to the Herald by the Irish Prison Service, Finnegan is one of 590 prisoners who are unlawfully at large -- but most of these prisoners are classified this way because of a technical breach, for example, failing to sign on at the prison at an allotted time.

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