THE Special Criminal Court has heard that businessman Steve Collins was the intended target when his son Roy was murdered on the southside of the city more than five years ago.
Two Limerick men have gone on trial at the non-jury court accused of murdering the 35-year-old at the Coin Castle Amusements arcade, where he worked, on April 9, 2009.
Wayne Dundon, aged 36, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen, aged 24, of Hyde Road, Prospect only spoke in court this morning to confirm their names and formally plead not guilty.
Opening the trial, Michael O’Higgins SC, prosecuting, said it will be alleged that both men were involved in a common design and joint enterprise, which resulted in the killing of Roy Collins.
It is alleged that Mr Dundon was “designer and director” of the murder from his cell in Wheatfield prison and that Mr Killeen was the driver of the getaway car.
The gunman - James Dillon - is currently serving a life sentence and Mr O’Higgins said he would not trouble the court during the trial, which is expected to last several weeks.
The three judges - Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge Ann Ryan - were told the State intends offering evidence from five key witnesses during the trial.
These include Gareth Keogh-Collins, his sisters Lisa and April as well as Anthony “Noddy” McCarthy and his brother Christopher McCarthy.
It is the prosecution case that in the days leading up to the murder, a car was stolen, a firearm organised and that Nathan Killeen was instructed to be the driver for James Dillion.
It is alleged the pair were told to go to the Steering Wheel bar and “whack Steve Collins in the pub”.
Mr O’Higgins said he expects that Gareth Keogh-Collins will testify that he was asked to be the driver and was offered up to €20,000 and heroin to carry out the hit, but that he refused to get involved.
Mr O’Higgins said evidence will be given by Anthony “Noddy” McCarthy, who is serving life in prison for the murder of Kieran Keane, that he overheard Wayne Dundon on the phone on the morning of the murder telling “James Dillion to go down and do Collins”.
Noddy McCarthy, he said, will also give evidence that he heard Dundon speak to his brother Dessie on the prison hallway in the wake of the murder saying that “Steve Collins thought I was joking”.
A number of garda witnesses, including a photographer and a mapper, gave evidence today before the trial was adjourned to next week.