UK & World News

  • 4 February 2013, 7:35

Ireland: Mystery As Tycoon Found After Months

An Irish property developer has been found wandering along a country road in a confused state and with the word "thief" scrawled across his head, eight months after he went missing.

Multimillionaire Kevin McGeever, 68, was injured, had a long beard, very long fingernails and had lost a lot of weight when he was picked up near Ballinamore, on the border of County Leitrim and County Cavan.

He had been reported missing in June last year from County Galway in the west of Ireland, about 100 miles from where he was found.

Catherine Vallely told Irish newspapers that she initially thought he was a traffic cone when she and her husband came across him in the dark because he was wearing red trousers.

She described him as "very well educated, well-spoken and polite".

Mrs Vallely told the Irish Examiner: "I was surprised. I thought he might have Alzheimer's or something like that. The man said his name was Kevin and he didn't realise he was in Co Leitrim. He didn't even know the month, the day or the time."

As well as his dishevelled clothing, he was wearing no shoes. He reportedly said he had been thrown from a van.

They took him to a local police station where he was given tea and biscuits and was reported to have said he had hardly had any food for months.

Mr McGeever has been interviewed and given a statement to officers, claiming that he was kidnapped at gunpoint.

His attackers wrote insults on his face, including the word thief on his forehead.

Irish police have said there is no question that Mr McGeever was held for an extended period of months based on his appearance,

He was treated for dehydration and malnutrition at hospital, where he is still recovering.

Mr McGeever had been living in a 3m euros (2.58m) mansion in Craughwell, County Galway. He owns a personal helicopter and a fleet of cars including a Porsche and two Hummers.

Before the economic downturn, Mr McGeever sold luxury homes to expats in Dubai.

He made a fortune building houses, first in his native county and then further afield, before making big investments abroad. He fronted a company called KMM Commercial Properties.

A local councillor who knew the couple who found him, Sinn Fein's Martin Kenny told Sky News: "He was quite a high flying businessman, in international business and it's quite unusual that he would go missing but there didn't seem to be a huge scale search for him or anything like that.

"The only thing he did tell them was that a number of men had dropped him off there along the road and that he had been taken quite a long way."

Police confirmed they were investigating whether he had been abducted, but refused to comment further about his condition.

A Garda spokesman in Dublin said: "We are investigating reports that an injured man, in his late 60s, was found at the side of the road at 9.45pm on January 29.

"He was taken to Mullingar Hospital for treatment. We are investigating allegations that he was abducted from Craughwell."