A plot to murder an outspoken former mayor of Limerick by a city drugs gang was revealed last night.
Cllr John Gilligan said he was targeted after he went on RTÉ news and welcomed heavy sentences imposed on Brian and Kieran Collopy.
The two leaders of the Collopy outfit were given eight-year jail sentences at Limerick Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Mr Gilligan said three men wearing balaclavas were sent to do a contract job on him hours after he appeared on television. Last night he said: “People can make up their own minds on what three men wearing balaclavas were doing near my house before a neighbour alerted me. I have no doubt they were on a sinister and serious mission.”
Mr Gilligan, who lives in Lee Estate, a short distance from the Collopy’s stronghold of St Ita’s Street in St Mary’s Park, said: “The Collopys won’t silence me. My house has been attacked before and last night three fellas wearing balaclavas came into Lee Estate just a few hundred yards from the Collopys. They tried to disarm the CCTV recently erected in the estate and when a neighbour saw them, he ran to my house. I have no doubt that shutting down the CCTV was part of their plan to attack me, my family and my house. This happened at around 11pm after I gave an interview on RTÉ praising the guards and welcoming the sentences handed down by Judge [Tom] O’Donnell.
“There’s a lot of people here who are afraid to speak out but as a public representative I won’t pull back.”
He confirmed that he has given a statement to gardaí.
Mr Gilligan led a red jersey protest through Limerick against the McCarthy- Dundon gang after they murdered rugby player Shane Geoghegan.
He was subjected to serious threats at that time and has refused to leave Lee Estate despite repeated garda advice.
Mr Gilligan said: “The regeneration programme have been putting up CCTV cameras in the entire Kings Island area and a camera was placed on a pole near my house. The location had nothing to do with my house, but the fellas in the balaclavas last night knew that it would film any movement near my house.”
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