‘Traveller’s feet nailed to the floor by three men’

Gerard Mackin (left), Mark Heffernan (middle), Patrick Hayes (right)

A man was ‘crucified’ by having his feet nailed onto the kitchen floor of a house where he was held captive, it was alleged yesterday at Limerick District Court.

Gerard Mackin, aged 33, a native of Northern Ireland with an address at 80, Star Court, John Carey Park, Southill, Limerick; Mark Heffernan, aged 32, of 242, Swallow Drive, John Carew Park, Limerick, and Patrick Hayes, aged 52 of 6, Larch Court, Kennedy Park, Limerick, were each charged at the court with assault causing harm and falsely imprisoning 53-year-old Daniel Quilligan at 6, Larch Court, on September 14 last.

Judge Marian O’Leary, having heard Garda objections, refused bail to all three owing to the seriousness of the alleged offences and the possibility of interference with witnesses.

Michael Murray, state solicitor, objected to details of the bail applications being published in the media.

Evidence was given by Det Garda David Bourke, Det Garda Pat Whelan, and Det Garda Mark Deasy of the State’s objections to bail.

It was alleged that Mr Quilligan, a Traveller who dealt in furniture, was lured to 6, Larch Court by a number of people. He was met by three men, all wearing white protective suits. It was alleged Mr Quilligan was assaulted by people who said they were from the IRA and demanded €15,000.

Mr Quilligan, it was alleged, was in great fear and as he sat on a chair, one of the men nailed his feet to the floor. Later, it was alleged the nails had to be surgically removed from his feet.

While in the hospital, it was alleged Mr Quilligan got a call from one of the accused and gardaí, listening to the phonecall, heard a voice say “don’t talk to the guards and nothing else will happen”.

Garda evidence was given alleging the three men could be linked to the scene by CCTV. It was alleged they were acting in consort and filling a gap left by the decline of the McCarthy Dundon gang by ‘taxing’ criminals with threats they were IRA or INLA. All three were remanded in custody to the same court on Tuesday next.


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