Former Limerick gang associate walks free as man withdraws assault complaint

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A MAN who withdrew a complaint of assault against a former associate of the Keane-Collopy gang assured Judge Eugene O’Kelly that he was not being pressured or intimidated.

A MAN who withdrew a complaint of assault against a former associate of the Keane-Collopy gang assured Judge Eugene O’Kelly that he was not being pressured or intimidated.

Willie Moran, 50, of Dromroe, Rhebogue, was set to deny a charge he had assaulted Trevor McGuane on John Street on November 12, 2011.

But when the case was called at Limerick District Court, Inspector Seamus Ruane told Judge O’Kelly that the prosecution could not proceed as the alleged injured party wished to withdraw his complaint.

Mr McGuane was asked to take to the witness box to explain why and as he moved across the courtroom, Judge O’Kelly took exception to the manner in which Moran - who was sitting in the body of the court with his wife - had stood up.

Judge O’Kelly was on the point of adjourning the case, telling Moran’s solicitor John Devane he was “not at all satisfied” Mr McGuane was not “under pressure”.

But both Mr Devane and his client protested that Mr Moran had only stood up because he had heard his name being called.

Asked by Judge O’Kelly whether he was under any pressure, Mr McGuane replied: “no, not at all your honour”.

He said he wished to let the matter rest “under circumstances where we stay apart and have no interaction”.

“I want to be in peace. Whatever happened on the day happened on the day. I just want to leave it at that,” Mr McGuane said.

Judge O’Kelly told Mr McGuane that if he did not wish to proceed with the complaint, it could not be re-entered on a future date.

Insp Ruane said that in the circumstances, the matter would have to be struck out and Judge O’Kelly dismissed the case.

Mr Devane then said he wished to bring to the attention of the court what he described as a “sinister development”, where he had observed a prosecuting garda writing in his notebook 14 months after the alleged assault had taken place.

Judge O’Kelly said he would not hear the submission when the case was not going ahead.

Mr Moran previously gave evidence against former associates in the Keane-Collopy gang. In February 2011, Brian Collopy, 40, formerly of St Mary’s Park, was jailed for eight years after he attempted to intimidate Moran ahead of the trial of his brothers, Kieran and Damian Collopy, for making threats to kill Willie Moran. Moran was for a period afforded 24-hour Garda protection.