There are some interesting details emerging from the Bulgarian newspaper, 24 часа (24 Hours Daily). The first of a three part report published in tomorrow’s edition claims that two Irishmen set up companies in Bulgaria last January. The first, they say, (called AM) belongs to an Aidan Murphy: the second (BM) owned by a Steven Francis Murphy. Both companies were registered in the town of Bourgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, near to where Aidan Murphy had bought land. So far, so insignificant. However, both men have addresses in Ireland at Ballybinaby, Co Louth. The paper believes, but cannot confirm, that they are nephews of Thomas “Slab” Murphy.
At this stage, the story is just an interesting detail, rather than newsworthy in its own right. As yet, the paper has no proof that the men are actually connected to Murphy in the way they suggest. And there is also no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either company. Accordingly, it would be wise not to jump to premature conclusions.
Should a connection be made, however, things could get very interesting. Not least since one of Murphy’s nephews, Ronan Kirk, who sat as a director of Ace Oils Ltd, was convicted for his role in fuel smuggling in 2005. And of course there was that abandoned land deal in Bulgaria, back in 2004.
Slugger understands that the next instalment of the story is due out on Thursday. We may have to wait until then to learn if this story really is a story after all.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty