From Tipperary to Bolivia

Stephen Rogers and Juno McEnroe profile Michael Dwyer, the Irishman shot dead by security forces for his alleged involvement in a plot to kill a president.

MICHAEL DWYER, the Irish man slain by security forces while allegedly plotting to kill Bolivia’s President, had been living in South America for some time.

His body was found in the Santa Cruz Hotel, close to Eduardo Rozsa Flores, the man local news reports are claiming was the leader of the alleged plotters.

According to Bolivian media, Rozsa Flores was probably the leader of the gang. Born in Santa Cruz in 1960 of a Hungarian father and Spanish mother, his family moved to Chile in 1972, then to Sweden and, in 1975, to Hungary. He fought in the Croatian war in the early 1990s and was also a spokesman for a dissident organisation calling itself Iraqi Independent Government.

More than three months ago, one of Michael Dwyer’s family members wrote on his Bebo page: “relieved to see u are logged in — where were u for the last week? when u comin home.....” and two weeks later another wrote, on hearing news he had got a new tattoo in Bolivia “Noooo u didnt get a new tat!!! An in Bolivia, did they use clean needles??? So hows things going? U havin fun stil? U must send me a pic of ur new tat. So when is it ur coming back to this side of the world???? Love you, miss you, be safe!!! xxx.”

The 24-year-old Ballinderry native boasted on the site that he was ‘happiest when cruisin in my new bmw in south america’, but added that the insects there were ‘as big as ‘freakin’ cats’.

The site paints a picture of a man obsessed with weaponry and warfare. He had taken quizzes on what type of assassin he would be (the answer was Bruce Willis’s character in the Jackal), what type of gun he would use (answer: a 9mm/Silenced), what type of fighter he would be (answer: submission artist) and what military position he would be (answer: sniper).

He is pictured in a variety of camouflage gear and carrying a range of ‘airsoft weapons’ on his page’s photograph section.

The Bebo site was taken down yesterday evening. The last comment was from one of his friends, which simply read ‘RIP bro’.

It is believed Michael Dwyer may have had army training at a young age, according to local sources, but had not been in the Tipperary area for some time.

The defence forces have no record of him, but there were suggestions he may have been in the British army for a short time. He is thought to have been living in Galway until his recently.

The quaint village of Ballinderry contains only a few premises, including one pub, a shop and a handful of houses.

Local Fine Gael councillor Ger Darcy said: “The family are a typical decent rural Irish family living there for many years. They are very well respected and everyone is very sorry for them.”

It is understood the Department of Foreign Affairs has begun tracking his passport movements in recent months. In addition, gardaí from the Interpol section at Garda headquarters are also co-operating with police in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.

A relative of the Dwyer family last night confirmed Michael Dwyer had been in the United States in recent months.


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