SOUTHILL man Mark Heffernan, who testified against key figures in the McCarthy/Dundon gang and was labelled a “dead man walking” as a result, has described in a new book how he was dramatically pursued through Limerick by some of the city’s most feared criminals in a high-speed car chase.
The book, Dead Man Talking, How One Man Brought Down the Limerick Mob, tells of the two-year campaign of intimidation against the Carew Park man by members of the McCarthy/Dundon gang and details his role in the trial that sent seven members of the gang to jail for offences including violent disorder and demanding money with menaces.
Written with journalist Darren Boyle, an extract carried in this week’s Sunday World details events in October 2008 and February 2010 when Mark Heffernan was intimidated and chased by Gareth Collins, Christopher McCarthy, Patrick Pickford, Jimmy Collins, Ger Dundon, Christopher and Anthony McCormack.
The 2010 incident was a high-speed car chase through Limerick as Mr Heffernan was chased in his jeep by a car containing several members of the gang, including Ger Dundon and Gareth Collins.
“I was trying to lead them on a loop around the outskirts of Limerick, hoping that the gardai would could lay a trap for them,” he writes. “It was a bit of a risk, but I was keeping up a speed of 120 km/h and I didn’t think they could catch me as long as I had fuel. But when I glanced in the rear view mirror, they were closing in on me.
“I was 100 percent certain now that if this situation continued, I was going to be killed,” adds the man who decided to testify after the dramatic car chase, which ended when he fled for the safety of Roxboro Garda Station.
“The guards asked me to make a formal statement,” he says. “They said it was only a matter of time before I was killed. They said I could put everything to bed by standing up to the McCarthy/Dundons and that I could actually bring peace to the city.
“The only reason I wanted to be part of this process was to bring down the gang. I was doing this for my family, the wider community and for victims who had gone before me.”