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WE'RE ALL SKINT; Crime boss Cahill's wife, her sister & mistress all living on the breadline.

Byline: JOANNE McELGUNN

MARTIN "The General" Cahill's lovers - his wife, her sister and the mistress who bore him a child just months before he died - are all living on the breadline.

The gangland boss, who robbed upwards of EUR20million in cash and goods during his 35-year criminal career, has left his women destitute.

His three great loves, who between them gave him 10 children, are now forced to survive on state handouts.

His wife Frances, 52, who married Cahill in 1968 and bore him five children, has been left homeless.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has given her until May 1 to quit the EUR1million home she shared with her gangster husband in leafy Cowper Downs in Dublin 6.

Frances now intends to relocate to England where, ironically, she hopes to earn a living working for a homeless charity.

She is due a EUR175,000 payout when CAB finally sells the house, but she will have to share that windfall with her five children.

The state - which seized her home under the Proceeds of Crime Act - allowed her to keep a derelict site in Dolphin's Barn in Dublin Inner City.

But hard-pressed Frances doesn't even have enough money to use the lot and build a house for herself.

A source said: "There is nothing to keep her in Ireland. All her kids have flown the nest, so she's planning to move to England.""

Former friends of the hood said Cahill would turn in his grave if he knew the financial hardships his women now endure.

The second great love of his life - his wife's sister Patricia - is totally dependent on benefits, a situation that would horrify the murdered gangster, who detested authority.

Affectionately known as Tina, Patricia is the mother of four of Cahill's children now aged 22, 20, 12 and 10.

She currently ekes out a living as a part-time domestic assistant in St Luke's Hospital, Dublin.

Her life of riches now a distant memory, the 49-year-old has had to swallow her pride and apply for a number of state allowances.

Each week she pockets a lone parents allowance of EUR187.50. She is so hard-pressed that she also collects a weekly fuel allowance of EUR12.90 to heat the Rathmines home she and Cahill once used as a love nest.

Her two youngest children still qualify for child allowance and the monthly benefit of EUR263 comes in very handy.

Fortunately for Tina the state has allowed her keep the EUR300,000 Swan Grove home her gangster lover bought from the Corporation for cash in the late 1980s. A source said: "There no doubt she was very relieved when she was told that CAB wouldn't be seizing her home.

"It would have destroyed her to leave it. It was where she and Martin conceived their children and it holds loads of memories for her."

The third woman in The General's life - who bore him a little girl just six months before a IRA assassins shot him dead in August 1994 - is also living on the breadline.

The 41-year-old woman has known a lifetime of hardship and for years lived on a lone parents allowance.

But two years ago she got herself a job. However, it is so poorly paid that the state gives her a handout of EUR42 a week to help her make ends meet.

A source said: "This woman is so down on her luck that she lives with a relative. She can't even afford a home of her own."

Astonishingly, the three women are all friends and each knew that the other was sharing Cahill's bed.

Indeed Frances and Tina each bore him a child in the same year - two little girls born just months apart in 1980.

And such was the sisters' devotion to the criminal - famed for wearing a Mickey Mouse mask to court - that both of them named one of their sons after him.

Frances's eldest son is called Martin Anthony, while Tina's youngest son also took his father's name.

Cahill's last child - by his mistress - was born in February 1994. She was only six months old when her notorious father was gunned down.

A source said: "It seems unbelievable but each of the women knew about the other and even used to discuss their love for the man they considered a hero.

"Cahill's love life was a tangled web, but he managed to pull it off.

"He was fat, balding and badly dressed, but these three women loved him."

Career criminal Cahill was a legend who amassed and squandered a fortune during his life of crime.

And despite his reputation for torture and cruelty, he was also known to be a devoted family man, who was adored by his children, his wife and lovers.

CAPTION(S):

CAMERA SHY: Cahill shunned publicity; GONE: Home Cahill shared with wife Frances in Dublin 6 was seized by CAB; HARD TIMES: Cahill's wife Frances and, inset, her sister and his lover, Patricia. Both are said to be penniless
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2005
Words:832
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