Biker ‘shot rival dead in Limerick turf war’

A biker shot a member of a rival motorcycle club dead over a territorial dispute in Limerick, a prosecuting barrister told a murder trial jury yesterday.

Alan McNamara, aged 50, of Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Andrew O’Donoghue, 51, in Murroe, Co Limerick, on June 20, 2015.

His stepson, Robert Cusack, aged 28, is charged with impeding Mr McNamara’s apprehension knowing or believing him to have committed a serious offence. Mr Cusack has also pleaded not guilty and both men are being tried together at the Central Criminal Court.

Opening the trial Michael Delaney, prosecuting, told the jury they will hear evidence Mr O’Donoghue was a member of the Road Tramps motorcycle club which is based at Mountfune.

The accused, Alan McNamara, left the Road Tramps in the 2000s and later became a member of the Caballeros motorcycle club, based in Limerick City. Counsel told the jury they would hear evidence that the shooting was linked to a territorial dispute between the two clubs.

On Friday, June 19, 2015, Mr McNamara and his wife went to Kelly’s Pub in Doon, Limerick by bike. Mr McNamara was wearing the Caballeros colours — a badge or emblem worn on the back of a black, sleeveless jacket.

This, Mr Delaney said, was a “provocative act” as Doon is in the Road Tramps’ area. When word got out, three Road Tramps members went to Doon to confront Mr McNamara and at about 8.20pm, as Mr McNamara emerged from the pub, he was set upon by two of these. His colours were forceably removed, leaving Mr McNamara “very vexed” at the insult to him and his club.

Mr Delaney told the jurors: “This formed the backdrop to the fatal shooting of Mr O’Donoghue.”

Giving evidence, Seamus Duggan told Mr Delaney he has been member of the Road Tramps for about five years. He said the club had made alliances with others in Wexford, Waterford, and Dublin to keep out big international clubs like the Caballeros, whom he said were only in Ireland a couple of months in June 2015.

He said he had heard of Mr McNamara, who was known as ‘Cookie,’ but he had not met him before June 19. On that day he received a call from a club member who said Cookie was in Doon wearing Caballeros colours.

He said he and two other Road Tramps went to Doon to find out if it was true. Doon, Murroe and Cappawhite are Road Tramps’ areas, Limerick City belongs to the Caballeros, he explained. “We wouldn’t go to Limerick City drinking,” he added.

When the three arrived in Doon, they saw Mr McNamara coming out of the pub. One of them told Mr McNamara to take off his colours. “He didn’t, so they manhandled him. They removed his waistcoat from him.”

Mr Duggan said he held the accused man’s wife back.

Mr Duggan and the two other Road Tramps then left in a car. As they pulled away, he said Mr McNamara threw his helmet at the side of the car and shouted, “You’re dead,” at one of them.

The following day Mr Duggan was in Doon when he saw a member of the Caballeros pass him in a car. There were two or three others in the car but he didn’t know them.

He said: “I jumped into my van and took off as fast as I could because I knew they were following me. ”

He said he drove at speeds up to 100m/h as he tried to get away from his pursuers. He will continue his evidence today.

Mr Delaney had previously told the jury Mr Duggan decided to go to the Road Tramps clubhouse where he would be met by other members of the club. The deceased, he said, was at the clubhouse waiting, going in and out the gate, when Mr McNamara arrived carrying a sawn-off double barrel shotgun.

As Mr McNamara ran towards the gate Mr O’Donoghue tried to close it. Counsel said there would be evidence Mr McNamara then shot Mr O’Donoghue once in the head at point blank range.

The trial continues today.

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