April Collins tells Special Criminal Court that her rapist boyfriend ‘made a mistake’

David Hurleyat the S

Reporter:

David Hurleyat the S

APRIL Collins, the former partner of Ger Dundon, yesterday rejected suggestions that her current partner, Thomas O’Neill, was a danger to her children.

APRIL Collins, the former partner of Ger Dundon, yesterday rejected suggestions that her current partner, Thomas O’Neill, was a danger to her children.

The 24-year-old, who wore an engagement ring in court, made the comments during the trial of brothers John and Wayne Dundon, who are accused of threatening to kill her, her mother and two of her brothers on dates in 2010 and 2011. April Collins agreed that she is pregnant with her fourth child and that convicted rapist Thomas O’Neill is the father. However, she denied suggestions that she had engaged in a “relationship of betrayal” with Mr O’Neill while she was still living at Ger Dundon’s house on Hyde Road while he was in prison.

Brian McCartney QC, representing John Dundon, suggested that Ger Dundon was concerned that “a known violent sex offender would be living under the same roof as his three children.”

He said Ger Dundon had even recruited a priest and a nun because he was so concerned about the relationship between April Collins and Thomas O’Neill and the lack of access to his three children.

Referring to Thomas O’Neill’s role in the gang rape of a woman in Cratloe in 2004, Ms Collins said he had “made a mistake” and she told the court he had never been violent towards her or her children.

In her direct evidence, Ms Collins told the Special Criminal Court that she was “terrified” and “very scared” when Wayne Dundon, 33, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect threatened to kill her and one of her brothers when he called to her home in March of last year.

In her evidence, the mother of three said Wayne Dundon was “very angry” when he called to her home at 84 Hyde Road on March 25, 2011.

She described how he tapped her on the shoulder while she was hoovering at her home on Hyde Road and asked her could he come in. “I was sitting down and he stood up,” she said.

Ms Collins said he asked her why she had stopped bringing her three children to see their father, Ger Dundon, who was in prison at the time. She told Tom O’Connell, SC prosecuting, that Wayne Dundon said to her: “If anything happens to my brother over you, I will kill you over it.”

In her evidence she said Wayne Dundon also accused her brother, Gareth, of being responsible for a fire at his (Wayne’s) home early last year and he told her “he won’t get away with it, he won’t make it out through the gates.” Ms Collins said she took this to mean the gates of Limerick Prison.

The trial is continuing today.