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Dublin: 22 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

Jennifer Guinness, survivor of one of Ireland's most notorious kidnappings, has died

She was 78.

Jennifer Guinness Kidnapping Ordeals Source: Eamonn Farrell/

THE DEATH HAS occurred of Jennifer Guinness, the woman kidnapped by an armed gang for eight days in 1986.

She was 78. It’s understood that she had been battling cancer for some time.

She is predeceased by her husband John Guinness, the former head of the Guinness and Mahon bank in Dublin.

The Howth woman was held by an armed gang for eight days in April 1986 who demanded her ransom. Her kidnapping is one of the most notorious crimes of its type in Irish history.

When released she thanked the public “for its tremendous support, for thinking of me, it made me feel like I had so many friends”.

The kidnapping of socialites or the wealthy for ransom was prevalent in Ireland at the time.

Michael Cunningham, one of the ringleaders of the gang that carried out the kidnapping, died in January 2015.

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He was arrested, along with his accomplices (including his brother John) on the Waterloo Road near Ballsbridge in Dublin. He was sentenced to 14 years for his crime.

Jennifer’s death was announced by Howth Yacht Club, of which she was a member, on its website.

“It is with great sadness that the Commodore and Officers of Howth Yacht Club have to inform members of the passing of esteemed member Jennifer Guinness,” the statement on the club’s website reads.

The club will endeavour to advise of any details of memorial service as soon as possible.

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