As noted previously, The Sunday Times’ initial report on the ARA/CAB investigation predicted an absence of a paper trail directly connected to Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. At a press conference today, one of the two businessmen whose homes and offices were raided in Manchester, Dermot Craven, said “I have never met this man, spoken to him or carried out any business dealings with him. There is no connection with Thomas Murphy.” However, he admitted he has met, spoken with and done business with Thomas Murphy’s brother Frank.And Mr Craven acknowledged that his business partner, Brian Pepper, is the company secretary of a business owned by Frank Murphy.
From the UTV report of the press conference earlier today –
“We do have a client called Frank Murphy, who we now know is Thomas Murphy`s brother. Frank Murphy owns a company called Sailor Property, which owns seven properties in Manchester.
“The last property Sailor purchased through Craven Group was approximately two years ago.”
At a press conference in Manchester today, Mr Craven said he had never met Thomas Murphy but admitted he phoned Frank Murphy after his house was raided by armed police last Thursday.
He said: “I have met Frank Murphy a number of times, he is a really nice guy. At that time I didn`t know Thomas Murphy was Frank Murphy`s brother.”
He said he telephoned Frank Murphy after the raid because he had discovered who Frank Murphy`s brother was. He said Mr Murphy advised him to get a solicitor.
He said Mr Pepper, with whom he co-owns Dermot Craven Developments Limited, had the “greater part” of their dealings with Frank Murphy.
Mr Pepper, from Dundalk, was not at the press conference. His solicitor Richard Holliday said he was at work trying to reassure customers.
Mr Holliday said Mr Pepper had not known about Frank Murphy`s brother when he first met him but admitted he had attended a funeral at which both Frank and Thomas Murphy were present.