JOHN Dundon has been sentenced to life in prison for directing and organising the murder of Shane Geoghegan in a botched gangland hit in Dooradoyle in 2008.
Delivering the verdict at the Special Criminal Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, presiding, said that the prosecution case was “overwhelming” and had established Dundon’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
As Dundon, 30, of Hyde Road, Limerick, was handed a life sentence, his barrister Brendan Nix said he was “maintaining his innocence”.
As Mr Justice Kearns read out the last 23 pages of an 84-page verdict, Dundon listened to music and looked downward. He only momentarily removed his headphones to hear he had been found guilty of murder.
Shane Geoghegan was shot five times in the head and trunk as he returned home shortly before 1am on November 9, 2008.
During a trial which lasted over three weeks, the court heard that the entirely innocent aircraft mechanic and Garryowen rugby player was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.
The true target had been John “Pitchfork” McNamara, who lived a number of doors away from Shane Geoghegan and his partner Jenna Barry in Kilteragh.
April Collins, the ex-partner of Dundon’s brother Gerard, had given key evidence of how on the night before the murder, she had been present at a meeting when John Dundon had directed Dubliner Barry Doyle to kill John McNamara. Gunman Doyle was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Shane Geoghegan last year.
“He was explaining to Barry Doyle what he (McNamara) looked like, the times of his comings and goings and that the gun and the car and everything was sorted,” Ms Collins said.
“The gun is there. You kill him,” is what Ms Collins said Dundon had told Doyle.
Evidence was heard of a meeting in a pub car park in the hours after the murder where Dundon, who was with Doyle, was excited that “John Mac is dead”.
He had used Doyle’s phone to contact McNamara’s associate, the late Philip Collopy, to “slag him” about the murder, Ms Collins said. It was only during that conversation with Collopy that Dundon had learned the wrong man had been shot, had begun to panic and berate Doyle.
The family of Shane Geoghegan did not exercise their right to enter a victim impact statement into the court record after John Dundon was sentenced to life in prison for his murder.
Prosecuting counsel Tom O’Connell SC said that Mary Geoghegan, Shane’s mother, had “simply asked me to say that the facts of the case speak for themselves”.
Brendan Nix SC, defending, said Dundon “deeply regretted that Shane Geoghegan lost his life in this way” but the maintained he “had no hand, act or part” in the killing.
Dundon, Mr Nix said, offered his sympathies to the Geoghegan family although he “has no doubt they won’t accept them”.