Garda lockdown at estates after eighth gang feud murder

THE sprawling housing estates of Moyross and St Mary’s Park were under virtual garda lockdown last night following the murder earlier in the day of Noel Campion in Thomondgate.

Armed gardaí were tracking the movements of known feuding gang members amid heightened tensions following the eighth killing directly connected to the feud.

The McCarthy/Dundons control a criminal network in Moyross in the north of the city and in the Southill and Ballinacurra Weston areas in the south of the city.

Their arch-enemies, the Keane/Collopy gang, are based in the St Mary’s Park enclave also known as the Island Field.

The feud was sparked by the November 2000 murder in the Moose bar of Eddie Ryan. Two days before, Ryan attempted to shoot Christy Keane as he collected one of his children from a primary school in Hassett’s Cross. The attempt on Keane’s life failed when Ryan’s gun jammed.

Kieran Keane, a brother of Christy and who was murdered in January 2003, was one of the two gunmen involved in the Moose bar shooting.

Christy Keane is serving a 10-year sentence imposed in 2003 at Limerick Circuit Court for possessing drugs worth €250,000.

The feud has resulted in hundreds of shootings. Many go unrecorded in garda figures as they are not reported.

The feuding gangs bring in all kinds of weaponry with the drugs. Gardaí suspect the assault rifles, submachine guns, hand guns and rocket-propelled grenades discovered in Cork last weekend were destined for the McCarthy/Dundons.

Ryan was shot dead in the Moose bar by two gunmen after attending his brother-in-law’s funeral in November 2000.

His son had luckily gone to the toilet when the gunmen struck.

One of the gunmen was Kieran Keane.

He was abducted and shot dead on a lonely country road on the outskirts of the city in January 2003.

John Ryan, a brother of Eddie, was shot dead in July 2003 while working on a patio in Thomondgate less than 200 yards from yesterday’s murder scene.

In one of the most gruesome feud murders, Michael Campbell McNamara was lured into a trap and shot dead in a field near Southill in October 2003.

Aidan Ryan went to meet a person about a gun near Blackwater on the outskirts of the city in May 2006 and was shot dead in a field. A gun — not the murder weapon — was found beside his body.

“Fat Frankie” Ryan was shot in the back of the head as he sat in his car at Pineview Gardens on September 17 last.

He was a known associate of the McCarthy/Dundon gang.

Members of the Dundon family serving jail sentences sent a large floral tribute to his funeral.

Noel Crawford was shot dead outside his mother’s house in Southill after he was mistaken for his brother Paul, who has been targeted a number of times by gunmen.

He was out celebrating his 40th birthday that night and called to visit his mother.

In a previous attack, the front of the Crawford home was raked with machine- gun fire.

A week later, a gunman attacked a group outside the house and five-year-old Jordan Crawford was hit by a bullet in the leg.

Noel Campion yesterday became the Limerick feud’s latest deadly statistic.

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