‘Dublin Jimmy’ was friendly with and worked for Sean Quinn, brother tells court

Fran McGuinness claims he has been victim of Garda harassment over several years simply because of his sibling

Cyril “Dublin Jimmy” McGuinness worked for and was friendly “all his life” with former billionaire Sean Quinn, the deceased gangster’s brother Fran McGuinness told the High Court.

Cyril McGuinness, who was suspected of a number of attacks on former Quinn business premises following the collapse of the Quinn empire, including masterminding the abduction of Kevin Lunney, also lived in a property in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, once owned by Mr Quinn, Fran McGuinness said.

Mr McGuinness (62), a truck dealer originally from Pinnock Hill, Swords, Co Dublin, and currently living on the Dublin Road, Newry, Co Down, claims he has been the victim of Garda harassment over several years simply because of his brother.

“I believe that in the absence of getting him (Cyril) that I was on the side of the Swords Road and I was their second choice”, he said.


Mr McGuinness is suing the Garda Commissioner and the State over what he says was the unlawful search of his truck business premises next door to the former family home at Pinnock Hill on August 23rd, 2014.

He claims gardaí wrongly associated him with the Quinn attacks and that information used to swear the warrant for the search was untrue.

He claims gardaí caused unnecessary damage to two gates to the premises by using an acetylene torch and seized important documents for his UK truck trading companies. They also took envelopes containing St£2,000 and €1,800 which were commission payments for other traders which he later had to make up for, he said.

The defendants deny the claims, say the search was lawful, that there were no envelopes containing money and that copies of other documents seized were returned to him.

Mr McGuinness said he had been estranged from his brother for many years before his death. Cyril McGuinness collapsed and later died of a cardiac arrest following a police raid of his Derbyshire, England, home in 2019.

Mr McGuinness told his counsel Eanna Mulloy SC, that the August 2014 search came after a number of incidents between 2008 and 2012 when gardaí seized some 15 vehicles in total along with other property, some of which was later returned.

He brought court proceedings over these seizures but there were so many of them now he did not know how they were going, he said.

There was “bad blood” between him and the gardaí, he said. He believed the fact that Cyril was his brother was “the driving force” behind the Garda attention on him.

Under cross examination by Gerard Clarke SC, for the defendants, Mr McGuinness said it was “not unusual at all” for him “leaving around” two envelopes containing large amounts of cash in the unlocked office of his easily accessible premises at Pinnock Hill.

Asked by counsel what complaints he wanted dealt with, he said he wanted the court to “deliver me some satisfaction in relation to the police cutting down my gates and taking my property”, as well as over what he said was Garda harassment for the last 30 years.

“They made an allegation that they could connect me with the arson attacks on the Quinn property and I had nothing to do with it,” he said.

Asked by counsel and the judge to explain why he had introduced Cyril into the case, he said he wanted to make the court aware of the background to the 2014 search.

“Cyril was a person of notoriety and they suspected him of being involved in the arson of the Quinn property,” he said.

Counsel said there were many newspaper stories that he was supposed to be the mastermind behind the campaign against the former Quinn property.

“Does that make it true?” Mr McGuinness replied. “He was friendly with Sean Quinn all his life and he worked for him as a subcontractor and lived in Derrylin in a property once owned by Sean Quinn.

“I am not and never was my brother’s keeper and I am saying that is why I have been subjected to Garda harassment”.

He accepted he had several convictions for road traffic offences including disqualifications for dangerous and careless driving. He had referred to himself in an affidavit as having an unblemished record but that was because at the time he did not think motoring offences affected his standing.

“There are none for arson because that is what your clients (gardaí) believe I was involved in,” he said.

The case continues before Mr Justice David Nolan.