Limerick woman on trial for intimidating key witnesses

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

FOUR members of the same family have described how they were “terrified” and “frightened” after they were threatened by a motorist who verbally abused them and made a “gun gesture” towards them during an incident 18 months ago.

FOUR members of the same family have described how they were “terrified” and “frightened” after they were threatened by a motorist who verbally abused them and made a “gun gesture” towards them during an incident 18 months ago.

Ciara Lynch, aged 21, of Hyde Road, Ballinacurra Weston has gone on trial accused of “threatening, menacing, intimidating or putting in fear” two of the women who were potential witnesses in relation to an ongoing garda investigation at the time.

The offence is alleged to have happened outside the home of Alice Collins and April Collins at Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston at around 1.40pm on May 15, 2011.

In her evidence Alice Collins said she was putting out rubbish near her front gate when she heard someone shouting and screaming from a car. “I could heard somebody shouting and roaring, you scumbags, you rats,” she said.

Mrs Collins identified Ciara Lynch as the culprit and she told the jury she then made a gun gesture with her hand before speeding off and breaking a red light at the junction of Hyde Avenue and Childers Road.

“I got a fright, I was taken aback, it is not what you expect when you are going about your daily business,” she said.

Mrs Collins agreed with John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that she had made a complaint to gardai on April 8, 2011 in relation to a separate offence involving two brothers, who were named in court as “Mr A” and “Mr B”.

The jury has been told that at the time of the alleged offence, Lynch was going out with a “Mr C” who is a brother of “Mr A” and “Mr B” and that it is the state case that this was her motivation for making the threats.

In her evidence, Alice Collins’ daughter, April Collins, said she was standing near the front wall of her mother’s home with her sister Lisa and her cousin Sarah when she saw Ciara Lynch “driving up Hyde Road” in a grey Volkswagen Golf.

“She slowed down and started shouting ‘ye dirty rats, ye scum bags’. She put her hand out the window in the shape of a gun,” said Ms Collins, who told the court she was terrified and believed she was going to be shot.

She told Mr O’Sullivan that she too had made statement to gardai about an offence involving “Mr A” and “Mr B” about five weeks before the incident.

Being cross examined by Shane O’Callaghan BL, April Collins agreed there had been a “falling out” between her family and Ciara Lynch around six months before the alleged threat.

“There was an incident where Ciara Lynch attacked my mother’s home with a group of other girls,” she said.

April Collins, who admitted she is currently going out with convicted gang rapist Thomas O’Neill, denied bearing a grudge against Ciara Lynch but she denied “making up a story” to get back at her. “All I want to do is be left alone and rear my kids,” she said.

April’s sister, Lisa Collins and her cousin, Sarah Collins have also given evidence in the trial which is continuing before Judge Carroll Moran at Limerick Circuit Court.