THE gangland figure suspected of killing journalist Veronica Guerin has died of what are believed to be natural causes while serving a prison sentence in a British jail.
Convicted armed robber and drug dealer Patrick Eugene ‘Dutchy’ Holland was found dead alone in his cell in an Isle of White prison at 6am yesterday morning.
His nephew James Holland said his uncle had focused recently on appealing his case. He said he had suffered chest pains and doctors treated him the night before he died. The British Prison Service said it appeared the 70-year-old died of natural causes at Parkhurst Prison but an ombudsman would conduct an investigation.
Holland was jailed for eight years in London last year for masterminding a £10 million (€11.8m) “honey trap” kidnap plot on a businessman.
He came to the public’s attention in Ireland when, following his arrest in 1997 on drugs charges, the Special Criminal Court heard he was suspected of shooting Veronica Guerin. A garda told the court she had formed the opinion Holland was the man who had shot the mother of one.
Thursday marks 13 years since the journalist was gunned down on the Naas dual carriageway.
Holland was never convicted of her murder and denied any involvement but admitted he had no alibi for the day of the killing.
He served nine years of a 12-year sentence for the possession of cannabis and was released from Portlaoise Prison in 2006.
He was considered a prominent member of the John Gilligan drug trafficking gang.
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