Limerick inquest hears that rival biker was murdered in ‘terrible cowardly act’

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

The scene of fatal shooting at Road Tramps clubhouse in Murroe in June 2015 Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

The scene of fatal shooting at Road Tramps clubhouse in Murroe in June 2015 Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

A CORONER has condemned the “terrible cowardly act” of a murderer who gunned down an unarmed biker rival in broad daylight three years ago.

The inquest into the death of Andrew O’Donoghue, aged 51, of Cois na Coille, Murroe, heard that he died of a “single gunshot blast to the face” after Alan “Cookie” McNamara shot him at the victim’s motorcycle clubhouse in Murroe on June 20, 2015.

McNamara was sentenced to life in prison in October last after being convicted of the father’s murder.

Jim McInerney and Derek Geary, who are members of Andrew’s former motorcycle club Road Tramps, gave witness statements to Henry Street gardai that afternoon.

In his deposition, Mr McInerney, from Murroe, said the shooting occurred after he had driven Mr O’Donoghue to the clubhouse in his Mazda pick-up.

Andrew was at the clubhouse gates when he heard “roaring and shouting coming from the direction of the road”. The witness saw McNamara holding a shotgun “in a double grip”.

“Before he fired it, he lifted it to [his] head. I actually saw the shot hitting him in the head.

“He saw that he was going to be shot because he leaned back as if to avoid it,” he said. 

He said that the killer “made no effort to disguise himself” and that he then fled the scene.

Mr Geary, Castletroy, said he had stayed in the clubhouse the night before and did not get up until 1.30pm. 

In his deposition he stated that he heard noises from outside, and saw Mr McInerney and the victim had arrived. 

He stated that Andrew had a “pipe in his hand”, adding: “I knew from [his] expression that whatever was going on, it wasn’t good.”

He said that Alan McNamara was a member of the rival gang the Caballeros. 

He went to the clubhouse steel gates which Andrew was trying to close, when he “saw a man come running in from the road holding a gun”.

He then saw the victim being shot and then saw Mr McNamara reloading the gun. Mr Geary said he heard the shooter say: “I got one of them” to another man in a car.

He covered Andrew’s head with a white hoodie as “he seemed to be bleeding everywhere”.

The inquest heard that Mr McInerney had called 999.

Gda Pauline Coughlan and Gda Niall Deegan received a report of a shooting at 2.50pm and arrived at the scene at 3pm. 

“I could see that he had been shot in the head. He was breathing very deeply. I spoke with him that an ambulance was on their way and that he was doing great,” she said.

The ambulance arrived at 3.07pm and he was then taken to University Hospital Limerick, where he was pronounced dead at 4.50pm.

State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said that he died as a result of a “single gunshot blast to the face” and that his injuries were “incompatible with life”.

After the evidence, the six-person jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

Coroner John McNamara said: “It was a terrible cowardly act to be shot at close-range and he was unarmed. Nobody deserves to die in that fashion.”