Viper Foley back in training at gym where he was shot
Mick McCaffrey, Security Editor
NOTORIOUS criminal Martin Foley is back training in the same gymnasium where he was shot four times just nine weeks ago.
Sources say that 55-year-old Foley . . . nicknamed 'The Viper' . . .has returned to the Carlisle Health and Fitness Club in Kimmage, Dublin, and is back lifting weights and carrying out a full exercise regime.
Foley was shot by a lone gunman as he drove out of the gym in late January. It is thought that the would-be assassin had the criminal under surveillance and knew that he worked out at least four times a week.
Foley spent over a week in a medically-induced coma and was released from hospital six weeks ago. His doctors advised him to rest for at least three months but he has staged an amazing recovery and has been seen back at the gym over the past week.
Amazed gym members have reported seeing Foley swimming and bench-pressing heavy weights, and say he does not seem to be overly nervous about his personal safety, coming and going by himself and without any "minders". Foley has told detectives that he is starting to feel like his old self but is restricting his workouts to three times a week for the moment.
Gardai have been in regular contact with him since the shooting incident outside the gym, owned by former retail tycoon Ben Dunne. He was leaving Carlisle at around 3pm on 26 January last when he was approached by a masked man who was carrying a semi-automatic pistol.
The gunman fired nine shots at Foley. Three struck him in the lower chest and one grazed his head. Sources say it was a "miracle" that he survived.
Foley told gardai at the scene that he was going to die but he managed to tell officers the name of the man who shot him before he was taken away by ambulance.
The suspect is 23 years old and from Clanbrassil Street in the south inner-city. He is a member of the gang controlled by Drimnagh drug dealer 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
However, gardai investigating the shooting say they are unsure if the man Foley identified actually was responsible.
Sources say that Thompson and Foley have a good relationship and there was no reason why Thompson would want him dead.
There have been no reprisals since the shooting and it is believed that meetings might have taken place in which a peace deal was ironed out between Foley and representatives of the suspected shooter.
Foley has now been shot on four separate occasions and has at least 14 bullet wounds in his body. January's shooting incident was not the first time he was shot at a gym and swimming pool. In September 2000, Foley was shot in the legs after being approached by two men as he left the pool at Terenure College. One of the gunmen walked over as he lay on the ground and prepared to shoot him in the head, only for the gun to misfire.