Gun victim ‘in wrong place at wrong time’

A TALENTED traditional Irish musician was looking forward to collecting a new set of uileann pipes on the day he was gunned down in a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Daniel Fitzgerald, 25 of Cloughadreen, Old Pallas, Co Limerick, was shot dead by a member of Limerick’s Collopy gang family in December 2009.

Kenneth Collopy, 20, of Kilonan, Ballysimon, was earlier this year jailed for life for the murder.

A trial at the Central Criminal Court was told Collopy had intended to fire at the home of a relative of Daniel Fitzgerald after he had been mistakenly led to believe that a member of the family was responsible for an arson attack on his mother’s van, which was filled with clothes she sold in a market.

Daniel Fitzgerald was never involved in crime.

An inquest in Limerick yesterday recorded a verdict of murder. His father, Noel, after yesterday’s hearing said: “We are learning how to cope. Obviously, we will never forget him. He was a great guy and always helpful and amenable to everybody. He had a great hands and helped farmers who might have a problem with tractors and farm machinery.”

Mr Fitzgerald said Daniel, who played the button accordion and the bodhrán was looking forward to widening his music skills on the uileann pipes.

He said: “That morning (of his death) Mickey Dunne from Caherconlish who is a well known maker of uileann pipes came down to the house with a chanter he had made for Daniel. He did not know the person who had been shot was Daniel who loved Irish music. Mickey said ‘this is the chanter I have for Daniel’ and I told Mickey ‘Daniel is dead’ .

“He was also great friends with the boxer Andy Lee and Andy’s brother, Roger. They used always go to the Electric Picnic concerts and, if he was alive, they’d be heading off this week to the concert. Daniel went to Andy’s fights in the US and Andy stood up for him and made it clear that Daniel was not involved in any crime, when there was totally unfounded speculation that there was no smoke without fire. Daniel could do welding, lay patios, fix machines. He could turn his hands to anything. He kept three Land Rovers and he used take parts from them to get one to go up the mountains and that kind of thing.”

Assistant state pathologist Khalib Jaber told yesterday’s inquest that Daniel died from gunshot wounds to the brain and to the right thigh.

The murder trial heard Collopy used a high-power, Glock semi-automatic handgun in the attack.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.