A SISTER of feared criminal Gary Campion, who is serving life sentences for two murders, said she believes “the violence in Limerick will continue” due to future generations of criminal families seeking to defend their “family’s honour”.
Celia Campion, 43, was speaking out this week, after Steve Collins and his family left the country due to ongoing intimidation in the city.
Ms Campion, whose brother Noel was also murdered in a gangland shooting in Thomondgate in 2007, wished to highlight that innocent siblings of people involved in crime are also caught in this “crossfire.”
“The guards think crime is dying down, but it’s not. All those children of gangs will fight for their father’s honour to the last and are still fighting now. It’s just going to carry on; it’s mad,” she said.
She continued: “There is no thought for the siblings of these people who are not involved in any criminality. Our lives have been turned upside down too.”
Speaking of the decision of Mr Collins and his family to leave the country under the witness relocation programme, she said: “I know what they’re going through because my brother was shot, even though he was involved in crime. I’m still feeling that grief, and the grief of the Collinses and other families who have lost someone through drugs and violence. I feel sorry for all the families involved. The repercussions of their actions is being carried on to their nieces and nephews and it really hurts.”
Ms Campion said while “absolutely loves” her brother Gary, who has a string of 40 convictions for a variety of serious offences, she has never been able to bring herself to visit him in prison.
“I don’t know what made him go down the road he went down. I would like to ask him how he’s feeling,” she said.
Three years ago Gary Campion, originally from O’Malley Park in Southill before moving to Moyross, was convicted of murdering Frankie Ryan, 21, in Moyross in 2006.
He is also one of two men serving life sentences for the murder of innocent nightclub bouncer Brian Fitzgerald outside his home in Corbally in 2002.
In May 2005, he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment when he threatened to have a Limerick prison officer ‘blown away’ for €20,000.
Earlier in the week, his sister explained to Niall Boylan on Classic Hits 4FM that their mother died when Gary was aged seven, and their father was a drinker, leading him “to go off the rails from the age of 10”.
Now the mother of two grown up children, who works as a bus driver and is now married to a woman, Ms Campion left Limerick in 2008 and this Wednesday flew out of the country again to start work abroad.
But stressed her decision to leave the country was not due to threats or intimidation due to her family name and was “purely for work reasons”.