By Cormac Looney
Monday February 02 2009
UNDERWORLD killer 'Cotton Eye' Joe Delaney is in serious condition in hospital after being admitted with chest problems.
Delaney (61) is in the intensive care unit at Portlaoise General Hospital, Co Laois, after being brought there for emergency treatment last week. He is understood to have angina, and has received treatment for blood clotting.
Delaney is serving a life sentence for killing fellow criminal Mark Dwyer, who was abducted and murdered in 1996. The successful case against 'Cotton Eye' is regarded as Ireland's first gangland murder conviction.
The gangster, from Naas, Co Kildare, abducted and tortured Dwyer after 40,000 ecstasy tablets belonging to Delaney's gang went missing. Dwyer's body was found dumped in a field at Scribblestown Lane in Finglas.
Delaney's latest health scare is the third time he has been admitted to the emergency ward. He was rushed to hospital in 2006 with chest pains, and suffered a heart attack while being held at Midlands Prison, in Portaloise, in 2004.
Medical staff have stabilised Delaney and the criminal may be transferred to a Dublin hospital in the coming days for further treatment. He was admitted to hospital in Portlaoise last Saturday, after complaining of feeling unwell, in his cell. His condition is currently listed as serious. Gardai have mounted a round-the-clock security operation to guard Delaney, who has been subjected to threats, despite being in custody.
In 2004, he was moved from Midlands Prison to Wheatfield in Dublin after he tried to slash another inmate in a drugs row. He was then put under a 24-hour guard after warders discovered a plot to assassinate him.
Delaney is the second high-profile prisoner to suffer from health problems in recent weeks. Geoffrey Evans, who murdered two young woman with an associate in the 1970s, remains in the intensive care unit at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, after suffering complications during heart bypass surgery on December 18 last.
He is likely to remain in the ICU for the foreseeable future, sources say.