'Limerick City can be thankful for the stance Carmel Collins took'

Ryan O'Rourke

Reporter:

Ryan O'Rourke

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ryan.orourke@limerickleader.ie

'Limerick City can be thankful for the stance Carmel Collins took'

The funeral of Carmel Collins was held in St John’s Cathedral, where she was married 45 years ago

THE mother of the late Roy Collins was laid to rest next to her son this Wednesday morning, following her death on Easter Sunday.

Carmel Collins, who was in her 60s, passed away peacefully at Milford Care Centre on Sunday morning.

Mrs Collins was the mother of Roy Collins who was shot dead in a gangland attack in Limerick 10 years ago.

Fr Frank O’Connor, who presided over Carmel and Steve Collins’ wedding 45 years ago, also resided over Carmel’s funeral. Both ceremonies took place in St Johns Cathedral.

Speaking after the funeral, Fr O’Connor noted Carmel’s gentle and kind nature, as well as her strong spirit in the face of difficult life.

“At the funeral I said to Steve, “45 years ago you vowed in front of this altar and your God to face the realities of life together in good times and in bad. You and Carmel and have fulfilled those vows in the most difficult way any couple could be expected to live out your vows”,” said Fr O’Connor. 

“The city can be grateful for the stand that Carmel and Steve took against violence and intimidation. Edmund Burke once said, ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ By taking to the streets in the way that they did, lives were saved and a city was changed. When Carmel stands before God she can quote St Peter in saying. ‘I fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith’ and it will be true,” he added.

Willie O’Dea TD, who is a personal friend of the Collins, offered his sympathies to the family.

“It’s very sad. I knew Carmel was sick, but I had hoped she might pull through and get better. Unfortunately, her illness proved fatal,” said Deputy O’Dea.

“It is very tough. The Collins have had a very tough life with all that has happened to them, and now that has been added to by Carmel's premature demise.” 

Roy Collins was just 35 when he was shot dead by members of the McCarthy- Dundon gang in Limerick in 2009. The Collins family recently marked the 10th anniversary of his killing.

The murder of the young business man would be a changing point in the gangland violence which had terrorised Limerick city for years.

Mrs Collins and her husband Steve stood up to the criminals and called for a change in the city. 

Marches were held in the wake of Roy’s death, which called for laws on gangland violence to be strengthened.

“It was the Collins’ reaction, and their failure to be bullied that started a transformation of the crime scene in Limerick. It engendered in the State an absolute determination by the State to take on these criminals in Limerick,” said Deputy O’Dea.

“Those marches and the stance of the Collins family were an absolute milestone for Limerick. Carmel and her whole family were heroes for what they did. They had tremendous character, guts, and bravery to stand up to these bullies knowing that there could be a terrible price to be paid, and ultimately there was a terrible price to be paid,” he added.

Wayne Dundon, James Dillon and Nathan Killeen were all jailed in relation to the murder of Roy Collins.