24-hour protection for intimidated witness in Collopy case

A FORMER associate of a well-known Limerick family, along with his wife and children, are living under 24/7 Garda protection, a Circuit Court heard yesterday.

Brian Collopy was last month found guilty by a jury at Limerick Circuit Court of trying to obstruct and pervert the course of justice by putting a witness, William Moran, in fear.

The case was put back until yesterday for sentence.

However, Collopy, aged 38, of Clooncunna, Ballysimon, was further remanded in custody until Friday as Judge Carroll Moran said he needed to give the matter further consideration.

Since making the complaint which led to the conviction, Mr Moran and his family have been getting “around the clock” Garda protection.

Collopy is a brother of Philip Collopy who accidentally shot himself dead in March 2009 when he put a Glock semi automatic to his head thinking it had not been loaded.

Philip Collopy and Kieran Keane carried out the Moose Bar murder of Eddie Ryan in November 2000 which led to the escalation of the well-known feud. In 2005, CAB seized the home of Brian Collopy at Fedamore.

Brian Collopy survived an attempt on his life in December 2006 when he was shot and wounded near St John’s Square.

At Collopy’s jury trial last month, William Moran said he was visiting relations in St Mary’s Park on June 9, 2010, with his wife and two children.

While driving from the area, his seven-seater car was followed by a white van.

It was being driven by Brian Collopy with addresses at St Senan’s St, St Mary’s Park, and Clooncunna, Ballysimon.

As Mr Moran passed the van, Brian Collopy pointed with his hand in the shape of a gun, giving him a fright.

At one point in busy traffic, Collopy was behind his car and shouted to him: “Willie you are going to get it. Ronan won’t save you now.”

The “Ronan” referred to by Collopy was Det Sgt Ronan McDonagh of Henry Street, the trial heard. In reply to state prosecutor John O’Sullivan, Mr Moran said the threats made by Collopy referred to a case in which he was a witness and Collopy was threatening him.

Det Garda Ivan Muldoon told the court yesterday Mr Moran took the threats made by Collopy seriously and since July 2010, Mr Moran, his wife and children were under 24/7 Garda protection.

He said Mr Moran had been an associate of the Collopy family up to April 2010 until an incident occurred.

Det Garda Muldoon said the gardaí viewed the intimidation in the case as at the higher end of the scale.

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