Gardai switch attention to convicting Roy Collins killers

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

State witness April Collins and relatives are to remain under armed garda protection 'for foreseeable future'
NO further prosecutions are underway in connection with the murder in November 2008 of Shane Geoghegan as gardai switch their attention to building the case against those behind the murder of Roy Collins six months later.

NO further prosecutions are underway in connection with the murder in November 2008 of Shane Geoghegan as gardai switch their attention to building the case against those behind the murder of Roy Collins six months later.

Meanwhile, sources said state witness April Collins is to remain under 24-hour armed garda protection “for the foreseeable future” after her evidence proved key to the conviction last week of John Dundon for organising the murder of Mr Geoghegan.

The law-abiding Garryowen rugby player was shot five times by gunman Barry Doyle, whose intended target was John McNamara, an associate of the Keane-Collopy gang who lived on the same estate of Kilteragh, Dooradoyle.

At the Special Criminal Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns found April Collins’ evidence in relation to John Dundon’s role in organising the hit on McNamara to be “truthful and compelling”.

That assessment was important for gardai as prior convictions against Dundon gang members that rested on her testimony could have been challenged had Ms Collins been found unreliable by a judge.

A former partner of John Dundon’s brother Ger, she made a statement to gardai in April 2011 that she was being intimidated by Dundon gang members after their break-up. This led to Ms Collins also revealing she knew “some stuff about murders”.

Members of the Collins family have been under protection since and reports in recent days suggest they may now be targeted in reprisal for John Dundon’s life sentence. This possibility is being taken seriously by gardai even though the Dundon gang has been significantly weakened with many of their senior members behind bars.

“Ger Dundon is still serving a sentence (for violent disorder) but will be out by the end of the year, or early in 2014. Wayne Dundon began a six year sentence last year and won’t be out for a while,” a source said.

Ms Collins was given the opportunity to start a new life outside of Limerick under the witness protection programme but opted to stay in the city.

Members of the Collins family are expected to act as witnesses in the trial of two men for the murder of Roy Collins (no relation) next year. While 27-year-old gunman James Dillon is serving life for that sentence, gardai now want to secure convictions against those who planned and ordered the hit on an innocent man.