By Cormac Looney and Charlie Mallon
Thursday October 22 2009
Drug importer John 'The Boxer' Kinsella has received a death threat after beating up the second-in-command of a major Crumlin drugs gang.
The former Irish super heavyweight boxing champion was moved from Cloverhill to Wheatfield Prison earlier this year after he fought with the man behind bars.
Kinsella was attacked by the other man, and delivered a bad beating to the gangster as he defended himself.
The incident, which happened six months ago, led to a security alert and Kinsella was moved from Cloverhill, where he had been held on remand. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for his role in the attempted importation of €7m of heroin and cocaine from Belgium to Ireland in 2006.
Kinsella had been held in custody since he was arrested in September 2006 and had spent almost three years on remand at Cloverhill when he was attacked by the Crumlin gang member.
According to reports, the gangster tried to beat up Kinsella after a row got out of hand, but the former boxer turned on him and beat him up instead.
The gang member is currently before the courts and cannot be named for legal reasons.
He is a feared enforcer for a major Crumlin-based crime gang, who are in a bloody dispute with a rival outfit, led by criminal Freddie Thompson.
The enforcer has survived an attempt on his life in the past as a result of that feud, and has a number of convictions for violent crime. He has also threatened gardai in the past.
The Herald understands that Kinsella was placed in segregation at Wheatfield after the attack, on foot of a death threat from the Crumlin gang, and remained there
He has remained in special segregation since then, amid ongoing fears for his safety in light of the Cloverhill incident.
He was sent back to Cloverhill last week, pending his sentencing hearing last Friday.
Known as the 'The Boxer', Kinsella was a key figure behind a major drug smuggling plot, led by a mysterious character called 'The Auld Fella'.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard evidence of wire-tapped conversations between Kinsella and another man, which referred to this figure as a senior player in the conspiracy.
The plot was to import the drugs haul in passenger luggage on board a private jet, which was to fly to Weston Airport in Co Kildare from Belgium. It was foiled by a major international operation, between gardai, Dutch and Belgian police, which led to Kinsella's arrest.
- Cormac Looney and Charlie Mallon