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‘Terror team’ shot in bed


Monday, April 20, 2009
Irish Daily Mail

Officially, they were in Bolivia to assassinate the president and died in a firefight. Now an eyewitness says Michael and his friends were asleep when armed police stormed their rooms

THE Irishman shot dead amid claims of a plot to assassinate the Bolivian president had never previously come to police attention, a top Government figure confirmed last night.

Dick Roche, the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, spoke out as it emerged that Irish diplomats are today set to meet senior Bolivian government officials for high-level talks on the shooting of Michael Dwyer.

Yesterday, Mr Roche said: ‘My understanding is that Mr Dwyer had absolutely no form of record from any Garda source that would have suggested that he had any misbehaviour, or that he had any record.’

Meanwhile, a former colleague of the 24-year-old Tipperary man has claimed that there is no way he could have had any kind of military training.

The man, who worked with Mr Dwyer in security in Co. Mayo for several months before he left for Bolivia, described him as innocent and naive, with a fascination for all things military.

Mr Dwyer was pictured playing Airsoft, a military-themed game which uses pellet-firing guns.

Players often dress In the American ‘boonie’ hats and German Flecktarn-pattern camouflage Mr Dwyer was pictured in.

The former colleague, who does not wish to be named, said: ‘I was working with him in Mayo. The last time I saw him would have been last summer. He went travelling after that. Before that he was a student and worked the doors on nightclubs.

‘He definitely would have had no military training; he was only out of school.

‘He was just a young man fascinated by all things military. He loved to dress up.

‘He was involved in the security of the Shell pipeline and there he would have come Into contact with people from Poland and Hungary with a military background and he could have had his head turned, but he wasn’t a leader, he was a follower.’

They continued: ‘When soldiers get together they start telling stories about wars and with his Interest In military operations he could have been influenced, but he certainly wasn’t trained with firearms.

‘Shooting a gun and playing Airsoft are completely different.

‘He was an innocent guy who Just got caught up, if anything.

‘I think the guys who he went travelling with were a different kettle of fish though; these guys were heavy hitters, trained in all things military.

‘He was a likeable sort of a guy, a bit naive but certainly not a killer.

‘If he was In any way capable of using a weapon he must have been trained in the past six months.’

Meanwhile, Derek Lambe, a second secretary from the Irish embassy In Argentina, and Ireland’s honorary counsel in Bolivia Peter O’Toole, will meet with senior officials from the Bolivian Justice Ministry in the capital La Paz today.

The talks are expected to focus on the circumstances surrounding the killing In the city of Santa Cruz and what progress the Bolivian authorities have made In their Investigation Into the deaths.

It Is understood the men were shot by a special police unit and not local officers.

Following talks between Mr Lambe and top police chiefs and local government officials, Mr Dwyer’s body was released from the morgue to a funeral directors yesterday.

It is understood the Dwyer family will not travel to Bolivia so Irish officials are working to have the body repatriated to Ireland by the middle of the week.

Dermot Ryan, spokesman for the Dwyer family in Ballinderry, Co. Tipperary, said they are still not clear on the events surrounding the death and are focusing on trying to get the body home.

He said: ‘There’s just so many different stories on it now. I think that so much of it is not going to come out for a long time and probably some of It is never going to come out.’

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Related Article

Friday, 17 April 2009

Irish assassin plot investigated

A senior official from the Irish Embassy in Argentina is to travel to Bolivia to investigate reports that an Irishman has been killed by police.

Reports from Bolivia said he was one of three men killed when police foiled a plot to assassinate president Evo Morales early on Thursday morning.

Officers attempted to arrest the men, but they fled to a hotel where a shootout took place, police said.

Three men, one of whom was identified by state media as Irish, were killed.

The other two suspects were Hungarian and Bolivian.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told The Irish Times on Friday afternoon that a diplomat attached to the Irish Embassy in Argentina will travel to Bolivia to establish the truth behind the reports.

The gun battle took place in Santa Cruz, an eastern Bolivian city and hub of anti-Morales sentiment.

It was reported the shooting lasted 30 minutes, and at one stage the alleged assassins detonated a grenade in the hotel. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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