30-year-old family alliance driving gangland feud to new low

THE alliance between the McCarthy and Dundon families goes back to the early 1970s, when one of the McCarthy family from Ballincurra Weston married Kenneth Dundon whose family came from Ballynanty, across the city.

After moving to Britain, they had five sons.

As the sons got into trouble the family gradually began to drift back to Limerick and that move was completed by 2000.

Kenneth Dundon was arrested in Limerick and extradited to Britain where he was jailed for manslaughter.

After moving into the Ballinacurra Weston area, the Dundons teamed up with their cousins, the McCarthys, and immersed themselves in dealing drugs.

On his deathbed, the head of the McCarthy clan named his grandson to take his place in the family hierarchy. It was this new leader who drove the McCarthy-Dundons to new heights in drug dealing and other crime.

After the murder of nightclub security manager Brian Fitzgerald in November 2002, the leader left Limerick for Britain.

He is now serving an 11-year sentence in Britain after being convicted of a gun offence.

The McCarthy-Dundons control a huge slice of the drugs trade in Limerick and the wider region.

To achieve this they have formed alliances and taken a lead role in the long-standing feud that has claimed the life of Shane Geoghegan.

One of the Dundon boys, Dessie, was one of the five men convicted for the abduction and murder of rival crime boss, Kieran Keane, in January 2003.

Another brother, John, was recently freed from prison after doing time for threatening the wife of a key witness during that trial.

Ger, the youngest son aged 21, has an eight-month jail sentence hanging over him and has gone on the run.

A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to turn up at Limerick Circuit Court for sentencing two weeks ago.

The feud spiralled into a new level of violence after the murder of Eddie Ryan in the Moose bar in November 2000. He was murdered by the Keane Collopy gang and one of the gunmen is believed to have been Kieran Keane.

As the violence intensified between the Keane-Collopys and the Ryans, the McCarthy-Dundons did not show their hand.

But the feud took on a new dimension in November 2002 when the two sons of Eddie Ryan, Kieran and Ed, were apparently abducted.

But they turned up safe and well hours after Kieran Keane was murdered.

Keane had fallen into a well-laid trap believing he was going to a meeting with the McCarthy-Dundons about the brothers.

Unknown to him the McCarthy-Dundons had thrown in their lot with the Ryans.

Keane and his close relative Owen Treacy were abducted. Kieran Keane was shot dead and Owen Treacy was left for dead with multiple stab wounds.

He survived and his evidence led to five members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang getting life.

The man who was the intended target in Sunday’s murder is connected to the McNamara family, who had a major falling-out with the McCarthys nearly 20 years ago when a female member of the McCarthy family lost an eye in an assault.

Since then members of the McNamara grouping have aligned themselves with the Keane-Collopys.

The man who was the intended target on Sunday is connected to the McNamaras and works closely with the Keane-Collopys.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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