Limerick gang war marks its 10th year

TOMORROW marks the 10th anniversary of the murder which led to an all-out war between two Limerick feuding gangs.

In the decade since, up to 20 people have been murdered in the continuing conflicts between the Keane-Collopy and McCarthy-Dundon gangs.

Up to 100 people are serving jail sentences for feud-related crimes.

On that Sunday night, November 12, 2000, Eddie Ryan was having a drink in the Moose Bar at Cathedral Place when two gunmen walked in and opened fire. Ryan suffered fatal injuries while a number of innocent people, in the packed hostelry, were wounded.

The gunmen were believed to have been Kieran Keane and Philip Collopy.

Kieran Keane was abducted and murdered in 2003.

Philip Collopy accidentally killed himself last year when he put a Glock semi automatic to his head at a house party in St Mary’s Park, thinking it was not loaded.

John Ryan, a brother of Eddie Ryan, was another victim of the bloody feud.

Two days prior to his death in the Moose bar, Eddie Ryan made an attempt on the life of Christy Keane as he sat in a car waiting to collect children from a local primary school.

Ryan ran up to Keane’s car, and went to fire at pointblank range. The gun jammed and Ryan ran off.

He had been a close friend and ally of Christy Keane for years before they fell out after a schoolyard fight involving a number of girls, one of whom received a serious facial wound.

On the night of his murder, Eddie Ryan had left his home in Kileely to go to St John’s Cathedral on the other side of the city to attend the funeral removal of a relative to the cathedral.

After the church ceremony, he went to the nearby Moose Bar with one of his son’s Kieran.

While Kieran was in the toilet, the two gunmen ran into the bar and went straight to where Eddie Ryan was seated and shot him. He died instantly.

Kieran Keane was abducted and murdered in January 2003 in an elaborate double cross which involved the two sons of Eddie Ryan, Kieran and Eds.

They were reported to have been abducted from near their home and were missing for a number of days, when Kieran Keane went to house near the Fairgreen on being told he would get information about the Ryan brothers.

At the house he was overpowered with Owen Treacy who had gone there with him and they were eventually brought to a country road at Drombana on the outskirts of the city. Kieran Keane was shot in the head. But after the gun jammed, the five abductors – members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang – stabbed him 17 times and left him for dead.

A short time later the two Ryan brothers walked into Portlaoise garda station unscathed.

Owen Treacy survived horrific stab wounds and his evidence led to the jailing of the five-man gang for life for the murder of Kieran Keane.

Earlier this year, Kieran and Eds Ryan were each jailed at Limerick Circuit Court in relation to the discovery of a gun in a car they were travelling in.

They were arrested after a high-speed car chase. During the arrest of the two, one member of the garda emergency response unit received serious injuries when the car carrying the Ryan brothers tried to take off as gardaí opened the driver’s door.

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