Minister urges witnesses to Limerick shooting to come forward

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald, pictured on a visit to Limerick last year with Chief Supt David Sheahan, is appealing for witnesses to the recent shooting of Christy Keane to come forward. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22
LIMERICK gangland figure Christy Keane remains in Cork University Hospital after he was badly injured in a gun attack.

LIMERICK gangland figure Christy Keane remains in Cork University Hospital after he was badly injured in a gun attack.

Fianna Fail’s justice spokesperson Niall Collins raised in the incident in the Dail this week, and his opposite number, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, urged people who might have information on the shooting to come forward.

Keane, 55, is under armed garda protection after a number of shots were fired at him as he arrived for a workout at the UL Arena last Monday.

“The only way to deal with this type of criminal activity is through a very robust response from the Garda Síochána and from communities. It was through that combination of Garda work and community co-operation that those crimes were dealt with effectively in the past,” she said.

Mr Collins told the Dail that there is “huge concern” among people “at the potential reemergence of gangland violence following a period of relative calm in the wake of the incarceration of a large number of gangland figures. The potential reputational damage to Limerick if this type of activity is allowed to happen again is hugely concerning for both tourism and business.”

He called on Ms Fitzgerald to take time out to come to Limerick to meet with gardai working on front line, as well as business people, tourist leaders and residents.

She said she has been to Limerick, and already “met with and thanked” frontline gardai.

“I commend the people of Limerick who have co-operated with An Garda Síochána. That engagement helped to ensure the imprisonment of those responsible for the heinous crimes, including murder, that were committed there,” she added.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Sean Lynch again expressed his hope there is no retaliation.

“I personally cannot speak for the Keane family, but it is my view they would not retaliate. In the interests of Limerick city and county, there should not be any retaliation. As a city councillor, I just hope the Keane family will not lower themselves, and not retaliate,” he said.