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Dead man had security background in Ireland

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bolivian policemen take three dead bodies, including that of Michael Dwyer, to the morgue last Thursday after clashes in Santa Cruz.Bolivian policemen take three dead bodies, including that of Michael Dwyer, to the morgue last Thursday after clashes in Santa Cruz.

Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

CONOR LALLYMICHAEL DWYER, the 24-year-old Co Tipperary man shot dead by police in Bolivia, had worked for at least two Irish security companies before he travelled to South America at the end of last year.

He had been employed on a part-time basis with Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS). They are a well-known company based in Naas, Co Kildare, headed by a former member of the Army Ranger Wing, Jim Farrell.

The company has been best-known in recent years as the security provider to Shell at its controversial Corrib gas pipeline project in Co Mayo.

When contacted yesterday, a spokesman at the company declined to confirm any details of Mr Dwyer’s employment. The spokesman said Mr Dwyer’s family had asked for privacy and IRMS wanted to respect their wishes.

However, The Irish Times understands Mr Dwyer last worked for IRMS in the first half of last year. When his contract expired, he then left the company.

It is unclear if Mr Dwyer worked at the Shell site in Co Mayo, but a number of local sources said they believed he had worked there for a period.

Mr Dwyer also worked for a now-defunct company in Oranmore, Co Galway, called Praetorian Security. It was one of the biggest firms in Ireland, supplying security to pubs and nightclubs.

Last June, the Private Security Authority suspended its licence over failure to meet all its tax compliance obligations.

Mr Dwyer worked part-time as a pub security guard while he was studying construction management in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. When he graduated last year, he worked in security full-time in Ireland before travelling to Bolivia at the end of last year.

Sources close to the family said they believe he had gone to Bolivia for a three-month training course linked to his security work. However, some security industry sources who spoke to The Irish Times yesterday said they had never heard of anybody travelling from Ireland to Bolivia to be trained there.

It appears that while in Bolivia Mr Dwyer was offered security work by Eduardo Rózsa Flores, a Bolivian with Croat nationality who grew up in Hungary. The 49-year-old was killed with Mr Dwyer in a Santa Cruz hotel last Thursday. A veteran of the Balkans conflict, he has been described as the leader of the group of alleged mercenaries the Bolivians say were plotting to kill their president, Evo Morales. The nature of Mr Dwyer’s work, and what the group were doing in Santa Cruz, remains unclear.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

IRISH TIMES ARTICLE

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