Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By TOM LAW

de­spite se­ri­ous in­juries to his spleen, which had to be re­moved.

He lived to fight an­other day and to stare down the bar­rel of an­other gun. He didn’t have to wait long.

The fol­low­ing year, Brian “The Tosser” Mee­han and Paul “Hippo” Ward were wear­ing bal­a­clavas when they jumped out and ran to­wards Fo­ley’s slow-mov­ing car.

The two crim­i­nals opened fire with an In­gram ma­chine pis­tol and a .45 pis­tol – rid­dling Fo­ley’s car with bullets. The Viper jumped out of his Mazda and ran for cover, mirac­u­lously only hav­ing been hit in the fin­ger.

Fo­ley, adrenalin pump­ing, ran through the back door of a house.

A shocked cou­ple and their 13-year-old daugh­ter didn’t know what to do when The Viper burst into their kitchen shout­ing: “Call the po­lice – they’re af­ter me.”

The hor­ri­fied fam­ily made to­wards the front door but were met by Mee­han, who was still bran­dish­ing the pis­tol. “Where’s the f***er? Get out of the way!” he de­manded and pushed past.

Fo­ley had run up the stairs by this point. Mee­han opened fire from the bot­tom of the stairs and hit The Viper in

Fto MARTIN “The Viper” Fo­ley doesn’t do death.

You can kid­nap him, you can spray him with bullets, you can even shoot him in the head, but you can’t kill him. And it’s not like they haven’t been try­ing!

For the past four decades the great and the good of the crim­i­nal un­der­world have been try­ing to whack this nut­ter.

His rep­u­ta­tion as a cocky loud­mouth had them queu­ing up to test his rep­u­ta­tion – the man who doesn’t die.

Dur­ing a life­time of drug deal­ing, jew­ellery heists and gang war­fare, he has used amaz­ing phys­i­cal con­di­tion­ing, sur­vival in­stincts and a huge amoung of luck to send the Grim Reaper pack­ing.

He sur­vived four at­tempted as­sas­si­na­tions, he has been kid­napped by the IRA and had 18 bullets lodged in his body.

For the first time, the true story be­hind Martin Fo­ley’s ad­ven­tures can be re­vealed in these ex­clu­sive ex­tracts from new bi­og­ra­phy, The Viper. the back. Fo­ley ran for his life and sev­eral bullets whizzed past him be­fore he got through a bed­room door at the top of the stairs.

The bul­let hadn’t slowed Fo­ley down and he ran through the back bed­room and threw him­self straight through the win­dow.

He landed on the roof of the house ex­ten­sion, jumped down into the gar­den and hopped over the wall into the next door neigh­bour’s prop­erty. Mee­han climbed out onto the ex­ten­sion roof and opened fire on his flee­ing tar­get, miss­ing again. OLEY ran through sev­eral gar­dens and then burst through the back door of an­other house and locked it be­hind him.

The home­owner was frozen to the spot with fear and her two young kids looked on, hor­ri­fied, as the bleed­ing Fo­ley pleaded with her to call the Garda. With that, The Viper col­lapsed.

He was rushed St James’s Hospi­tal and re­mained there for three weeks with po­lice pro­tec­tion out­side.

The top of his fin­ger had to be am­pu­tated, but apart from that Fo­ley made a good re­cov­ery and didn’t suf­fer any long-term dam­age. It re­ally was a mirac­u­lous es­cape.

On Septem­ber 12, 2000, Fo­ley was the sub­ject of yet an­other as­sas­si­na­tion bid.

He left his home at around 8pm to drive to the swim­ming pool at Terenure Col­lege, an up­mar­ket pri­vate school. As he ap­proached the boot of his car he saw a man from the cor­ner of his eye wear­ing a base­ball cap.

As Fo­ley turned around he re­alised that the man was run­ning to­wards him and that he was armed with a semi-au­to­matic hand­gun.

The Viper made a dash for the safety of the swim­ming pool build­ing, but the wouldbe as­sas­sin opened fire from a dis­tance of less than 10 feet.

The only bul­let that struck him hit his an­kle, shat­ter­ing it, and then trav­elled up his leg and ex­ited through his kneecap.

Fo­ley fell to the ground in agony. His life must have flashed be­fore his eyes when he looked up and saw the shadow of the gun­man ex­tend­ing his arm to shoot his vic­tim in the head.

But he wasn’t go­ing to give up with­out a fight, though, and he rolled to the left, the bul­let miss­ing his head by mil­lime­tres. He took cover be­hind his car, manag­ing to

IM­MOR­TAL? Martin ‘The Viper’ Fo­ley

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