THE girlfriend of one of the chief witnesses in the Roy Collins murder trial has told the Special Criminal Court that her statement to gardai three years ago was “lies” as she and her partner “were terrified for their lives and still are”.
Elaine Walsh, the partner of Gareth Collins, was giving evidence in the trial of Wayne Dundon, 36, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen, 24, of Hyde Road, Prospect, who have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Roy Collins, 35, at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre on April 9, 2009.
In her evidence yesterday, Ms Walsh, the partner of Gareth Keogh-Collins, claimed her initial memo given to gardai in 2009 and subsequent statement in 2011 were “lies” to protect her partner, who has claimed he was offered €20,000 to take part in the killing of Steve Collins.
In his evidence last week, Collins, 31, who is currently serving a seven and half year prison sentence, said he repeatedly refused to drive the getaway car.
He told the non-jury court that Wayne Dundon asked him to be the driver when he called him from prison.
His partner told the court she and Gareth never discussed their statements to gardai, but discussed “the pros and cons of what we’re doing here today”.
Ms Walsh told gardai that on the night before Roy Collins was shot, Gareth went into town to get a Supermacs, came home, watched films and went to bed. However, in court yesterday she said Gareth never came home that night.
“I couldn’t tell the gardai [the truth],” she said,“We were in fear of our lives and still are to this day. I had to do what I did at that time to protect Gareth, and the pressure he was under from certain people. At the time I had to do the right thing to protect him,” she said.
While he was serving a prison sentence in 2011, she said Gareth had confided in her that “he wanted to come forward and contact the guards” and that she spoke to a garda on his behalf.
Ms Walsh said that when she was questioned by gardai on the day Roy Collins was shot, she “went along” with Gareth’s account, as she could overhear his statement to the gardai from the sitting-room.
“I don’t know where Gareth was the night before; I wasn’t with him,” she said adding: “I’m not lying now. I came here today to tell the truth”.
Transcripts of phone calls between the couple while Gareth was in prison were read to the court, with the defence alleging that Ms Walsh was benefitting financially from her relationship to Gareth, who, they claim, called her from prison tasking her to carry out certain requests.
“Gareth never asked me to do anything for him, he never wanted me involved in anything like this,” she said.
In one phone call, he asked her to buy an apartment in Castletroy and to rent it out for another person in prison, and said she’d receive €2,000 for this, the defence said.
However, she claimed that the deal didn’t go through.
The court has also heard evidence from April Collins - the former girlfriend of Ger Dundon. He evidence is expected to conclude later today.