Saturday, September 5, 2009

missing the colour

The tabloids really should consult the Shuttle more for inside information. The callous gunning down of Michael Mcgurk outside his house , gangland style and in full view of his young son, carries all the hallmarks of a professional 'hit". These days the long-time policy of never involving a victim's family has been abandoned in what was a brutal, one-bullet-to-the-head execution as McGurk sat beside his 9 year old son in his Mercedes. A truly horrific experience for the young lad whose anguished screams were heard streets away.

But whilst newspapers described McGurk as a businessman-he was always known to us as Last Stand Mick the name the Shuttle dubbed Michael over a lunch 5 years ago which the Edinburgh born ex-boxer accepted with good grace-being in that when a debt collector was needed, McGurk was the man to call if things became difficult .
McGurk, with his soft Scots accent was known not to suffer fools gladly and during his 20 years in Australia had built an amazing multi-million dollar fortune via a variety of property deals. Often those deals had soured and enmity would build between McGurk and his partners.

One of McGurk's oddest enterprises was in 2006 when he attempted to sue the world's richest man, the Sultan of Brunie over the sale of 400 year old a miniature copy of the Koran kept in a tiny jewel encrusted case. The Sultan claimed no knowledge of the relic or McGurk.

The Shuttle was contacted yesterday by a tabloid looking for a snap of Adam Tilley, the businessman whose luxury Eastern Suburbs house was firebombed a year ago with McGurk at first charged for the offense with those charges recently dropped. Adam is brother of Ben Tilley, Kerry Packer favourite and close companion who travelled the world in Packer's Lear Jet whilst Kerry visited casinos where he would pick up, or drop a bundle. Apparently $6M in one go at Crockfords in London's Mayfair a year before he passed away.

But  the coppers should look further afield than the Tilleys who have always trod the straight and narrow. McGurk is bound to have built any number of enemies in his 15 year career.

Into the fray steps "Sydney Identity' as the media describes him-Big Jim Byrnes famous for getting Alan Bond out of his bankruptcy. Byrnes is banned from  being a company director and punters are still wondering what happened to their antiques consigned to Byrne's Cromwell's Auction House which collapsed a year ago. Byrnes only recently pulled up the Shuttle and requested that we should cease describing him as "rich" as he was a man of humble means. He then clambered into a new bright red Bentley and sped off. Big Jim claims McGurk held a tape-recording that could "bring down the government". Mmmm.                                                  

                                     But what's this new "Sydney Identity" moniker ?. We much prefer the favorite euphemism for businessmen of no fixed business-the more old-fashioned and delightful "colourful racing identity' the former way of describing those numerous chaps about town like the late Perc Galea who first earned the name when no-one could actually quite work out how Perc, a friendly chap , who drove luxury cars, lived in a huge mansion but never appeared to have a job apart from punting at the races.Something he was pretty good at, obviously.

"colourful racing identity"                                     Sultan of Brunei