A tribute paid to one of the three criminals who died in a horror smash hailed his skills as a burglar.
A picture of a portrait of Dean Maguire with two screwdrivers and a pair of gloves was posted on social media – and captioned: “No better man to put them to youse [sic].”
Maguire perished in a burning car alongside his associates Graham Taylor and Carl Freeman on Wednesday night.
The men had fled from gardai before driving down the N7 on the wrong side of the road before smashing into a truck head-on.
Maguire was wanted by UK police after he fled from a jail on October 17, 2018, reports the Irish Mirror.
The fugitive went on the run from Hollesley Bay open prison outside Suffolk, England while serving a three year and nine month sentence for burglary in the UK.
Police in multiple areas were alerted and hunted for the thug. And at the time, cops warned: “Members of the public are advised not to approach him.”
The hood returned to Ireland and was never recaptured, a UK source has confirmed.
And just the following year, Maguire – who had over 25 convictions – was nabbed and charged over alleged burglaries in Mayo.
The court heard at the time that the 29-year-old and his three co-accused were allegedly part of “a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang.”
Gardai suspected at the time they had stolen €30,000 from a Mayo property.
Maguire, Taylor and Freeman were all travelling in a BMW 3 Series car when they were pursued by gardai on Wednesday night, who had spotted them driving erratically.
Officers had stopped the pursuit when the thugs hit the dual carriageway because of the danger the car’s route posed.
But just minutes later their car smashed into a truck at around 11.40pm and the car burst into flames, killing all three.
The BMW 3 Series in which they were travelling is suspected to have been involved in a number of burglaries in recent weeks.
The driver of the truck, who is aged in his 40s, is in Tallaght University Hospital recovering from the smash.
The dead men’s bodies were so badly burnt that they are to be identified through DNA technology.
The three close friends were members of a major burglary gang based in Tallaght. Its leaders had close ties with murdered gangster Fat Andy Connors.
We can reveal that the men had been spotted by investigators on multiple occasions in recent times in different cars.
The huge burglary mob, which has up to 80 associates, has access to a huge amount of vehicles as part of its criminal enterprise.
A source said: “The three men were heavily involved in the gang.
“Each had been spotted in different cars and not always together.
“But gardai suspect that they are all different cars that the gang has access to to carry out burglaries.”
The source added: “But they take risks to evade attention or get away from gardai. And the risk these three men took proved costly for them.”
Other tributes continued to be paid on social media while some were left at the scene.
In one left at the crash scene, a partner of one of the dead men left a card which said: “The love of my life. Words can’t describe what I’m feeling.
“Our baby girl will never forget you.
“I’ll make sure she knows her daddy. No matter what happened you would come home to me.
“I’ll love you forever.”
The three men had over 200 convictions among them.
Maguire’s other ones highlight he had a history of leading gardai on chases.
In 2014, having just done a spree of robberies in Straffan, Mullingar and Celbridge, he was arrested after abandoning the getaway car.
In 2010, he was caged over another high-speed garda chase, in which he drove on the wrong side of the road and reversed into a patrol car three times.
Freeman, 26, had over 60 convictions including for theft, burglary and assault, among others.
The career criminal once also threatened and attacked an OAP couple in Wicklow 2015.
Taylor, 31, was also banned from driving for 40 years in 2012.
He had more than 120 convictions which included burglary, criminal damage, assault of a Garda and a long string of motoring offences.
Gardai have not yet confirmed that the bodies have been formally identified.
They continue to appeal for witnesses.
A spokesman said: “In particular, any witnesses who may have seen a dark blue BMW 3 Series vehicle, registration 06-D-47768, in the areas of Belgard, Citywest or the N7 between 11.15pm time, out go at it and 12am are asked to come forward. Officers can be contacted at Clondalkin Garda station on 01 666 7600 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”