Brian Collopy, aged 38, married with four children with addresses at St Senan’s St, St Mary’s Park and Clooncunna, Ballysimon, Limerick was found guilty on January 18 last by a jury at Limerick Circuit Court.
The court heard that Collopy tried to intimidate a former associate, William Moran, to try and prevent him giving evidence at an upcoming trial.
Mr Moran, his wife and children, are now under 24/7 Garda protection since making the complaint to gardaí which led to the successful prosecution, the court heard.
Passing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said Mr Moran was a critical witness in an upcoming trial and the intimidation was at the higher end of the scale.
He said it was hard to imagine a more serious offence than attempting to attack the fabric of administration of justice and it could not be tolerated.
“It was an attempt to undermine the courts and criminal justice trials in Limerick,” he said.
Judge Moran said an attempt had also been made to get Mr Moran to a solicitor’s office to withdraw his statement and this further illustrated a pattern of more intimidation.
Collopy is the brother of Philip Collopy who accidentally shot himself to death in March 2009 when he put a Glock semi automatic to his head thinking it was not loaded.
Philip Collopy and Kieran Keane carried out the Moose Bar murder of Eddie Ryan in November 2000, which led to the escalation of an ongoing feud.
In 2005 the 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.
Collopy’s brother, Vincent, was also in the van.
As he passed the Collopy’s 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.”
Collopy also said others were not going to suffer because of him.
Vincent Collopy, at that point, started shouting: “Bang, bang Willie.”
The ‘Ronan’ referred to by Collopy was Det Sgt Ronan McDonagh of Henry Street, a witness liaison officer in the upcoming trial at which Mr Moran is due to give evidence.
Det Garda Ivan Muldoon told the court 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.