Armed gardaí called to court after gang leader assaults solicitor

MEMBERS of the regional armed support unit rushed to Limerick Courthouse yesterday after violence flared when a notorious McCarthy-Dundon gang leader assaulted controversial criminal solicitor, John Devane, as he spoke with a client in the court corridor.

At about the same time elsewhere, a teenager, 17, who is related to another notorious McCarthy-Dundon gang member was rushed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital with a bullet wound to the leg.

Gardaí investigating that shooting believe it may have been carried out by a member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang well known to him. Some sources said the shooting may have been carried out because of an unpaid debt.

After the courthouse incident, a visibly shaken Mr Devane returned to the courtroom and informed Judge Tom O’Donnell that he had been assaulted and was too upset to continue with his listed cases.

According to people who were present in the hallway of the courthouse, a known member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang grabbed the solicitor by the neck and knocked him to the ground.

The gang member made a remark and was immediately removed from the building by gardaí who had called for assistance from the regional armed support unit.

Gardaí in the courthouse also helped remove associates of the gang member from the building.

A tense stand-off followed as the gang member and about six others remained near the court building.

It is believed the gang member had gone to the court with a McCarthy-Dundon gang associate who was prosecuted for motoring offences.

This defendant was allowed back into the courtroom where he was given a suspended six-month sentence and banned from driving for two years when he admitted to a number of road traffic offences.

The youth injured in the shooting in Ballinacurra Weston is related to the gang member who appeared in court. His wound was not life threatening.

The McCarthy-Dundon gang leader involved in the assault left Limerick last year after the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan, who was shot dead when mistaken for another person on November 9.

The associate who was before Limerick District Court yesterday also left the city at the same time.

While abroad, the McCarthy-Dundon gang leader posted threats on YouTube in which he made threats to gang rival Christy Keane, who was released from prison earlier this year.

The movements of the man involved in the courthouse assault have been closely monitored since he returned to Limerick last month.

His associate, who appeared on road traffic offences, is suspected of being involved in the murders of Mr Geoghegan and businessman Roy Collins.

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