GARDAI are investigating a fire which ripped through the Ballyneety home of the late Limerick criminal and politician Mikey Kelly.
The luxury home in Ballinagarde was largely destroyed in the blaze but had been unoccupied for a considerable period of time.
Neighbours reported the fire shortly before 1am on Friday morning. Two units of the Limerick Fire Service had to revisit the scene at around 10am after the fire reignited.
A spokesman at Roxboro Garda Station says there was no early indication that the fire was started maliciously but they were awaiting the results of a technical examination carried out on Friday morning.
Self-confessed criminal Kelly declared he was turning his back on crime when he topped the poll to be elected to Limerick City Council in 1999. But he remained a target of the Criminal Assets Bureau during his brief career as an alderman and was jailed for tax fraud in 2003.
Mr Kelly died following a shooting incident at his mother’s home in Southill in 2004. At the time, his brother Anthony rejected claims Mr Kelly had shot himself, insisting he had been murdered.
The house in Ballyneety was central to a more recent criminal investigation when Mr Kelly’s son James was convicted of possession of drugs for sale or supply in June of last year.
James Kelly was seen running from the property with a large plastic bag - found to have contained over €10,000 worth of cannabis - when gardai arrived to search the house in June 2009.