THE Limerick businessman murdered last week was shot in the chest with a powerful handgun.
A postmortem examination carried out by state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy has shown Roy Collins was hit by one bullet in the chest and an exit wound was found in his back. The wound, according to sources, indicated a powerful Glock semi-automatic may have been used in the shooting.
A major security operation was mounted at Limerick District Court on Saturday when two men being questioned in connection with the murder were brought before Judge Aeneas McCarthy to have their detention period extended.
Gardaí were granted a 72-hour extension. The two men under arrest can be held for up to seven days under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.
Roy Collins, 35, who was engaged to be married next June, was shot at the family-owned pub and amusement arcade at Roxboro shopping centre at about noon on Thursday.
Gardaí suspect it was a revenge attack by the McCarthy Dundon gang.
The dead man’s cousin, Ryan Lee, gave evidence against Wayne Dundon which led to a conviction and a 10-year sentence. The sentence was reduced to seven years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Dundon was found guilty by a jury of threatening to kill Ryan Lee on December 19, 2004.
At Saturday’s hearing, Chief Supt John Kerin told Judge McCarthy the garda investigation was being conducted diligently and expeditiously. Chief Supt Kerin said the firearm used in the murder had not yet been recovered.
He disclosed that in excess of 100 gardaí from the southern region were involved in the murder probe.
Chief Supt Kerin said the state forensic laboratory would be working over the Bank Holiday weekend and gardaí from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation based in Limerick and Dublin are involved in the huge investigation.
Both of the suspects stayed silent throughout the hearing. One, aged 19, was found hiding underneath insulation in the attic of a house in Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston an hour after Collins was shot. He has been interviewed on 10 separate occasions over the course of almost 13 hours since he was arrested.
The court was told the other arrested man was found hiding underneath a bed in the same house.
Peter Madden, solicitor for the two, said his clients denied any involvement in the murder.
The court was cordoned off by up to 100 gardaí, who included armed members of the Regional Support Unit.
Stephen Collins, father of the murder victim, has revealed that his family were threatened after Wayne Dundon was locked up.
Mr Collins, a well-known publican, said he has no doubt who was responsible for his son’s murder.
He said in an interview on Friday: “Absolutely, we know exactly where it came from. There is nobody else, we don’t have a problem with anybody else in this town, never had. This is them (the McCarthy-Dundons), we know that. They were only looking for an opportunity to get one of us on our own and they got that. Life is just cheap to them. The guards have been great to us, they have always looked after us, but you can’t police us 24/7.”
Stephen said his wife, Carmel, sons, Steve and Paul, sister Leanne and Roy’s daughters Shannon and Charlie were destroyed.
He added: “It could have been anyone of us. It is sickening. I don’t know what to do anymore. It has destroyed us, we are absolutely destroyed. This should never visit anyone’s door, the pain we are going through now. They wrecked our lives.”
Southern Regional Assistant Commissioner Kevin Ludlow, who met with senior officers in Limerick on Saturday, said the gardaí will win the battle against criminal gangs.
Progress in the investigation, he said, is steady and officers on the ground are reporting a strong public response which is very heartening in the fight against crime in the city.
Roy Collins’ funeral mass takes place today in St John’s Cathedral at 11am.
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