Witness ‘could have saved rugby player’s life’

A Limerick woman has agreed that she could have saved Shane Geoghegan’s life if she had taken two opportunities to report a planned murder in the hours before the shooting.

April Collins, 26, was giving evidence to the Special Criminal Court in the trial of 30-year-old Limerick man John Dundon, who is charged with murdering the Garryowen rugby player.

The trial has heard that the 28-year-old was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity as he returned home to his girlfriend around 1am, Nov 9, 2008. He died at the scene of gunshot wounds to his head and body.

Ms Collins, the ex-partner of John Dundon’s brother, Gerard Dundon, began giving evidence to the trial on Thursday.

She told the three-judge, non-jury court that the actual target of the killing was a man named John McNamara. She testified that she heard John Dundon order his killing a night or two before the shooting and he panicked when he heard the wrong man had been shot.

John Dundon, of Hyde Rd in the city, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick. His barrister, Brendan Nix SC, began cross-examining Ms Collins yesterday.

The mother of four agreed that she had checked into a hotel in Limerick with Gerard Dundon the night before the murder to create an alibi.

She said she could not remember being stopped by gardaí elsewhere in the city twice that night just hours before the murder, but agreed that she could have been.

Mr Nix put it to her that this had given her two opportunities to tell gardaí that there was going to be a killing.

“I couldn’t say that to the guards at the time,” she said. “I’d have been killed myself and my family would have been killed.”

Mr Nix put it to her that she could have saved a man’s life. “That’s correct,” she replied.

“Do you feel bad about it?” he asked her.

“An innocent man is dead,” said Ms Collins. “I couldn’t have said anything about it or I would have been killed.”

She was asked if she had any regrets.

“I feel very sorry for the family,” she said.

Mr Nix asked her how she came to make the statement that led to her giving evidence in his client’s trial.

“I was telling my mother that I knew some things about murders and she rang James Hourihan,” she said, explaining that Garda Hourihan was her liaison officer “over being threatened by John Dundon and Wayne Dundon”.

Gerard Dundon was in jail at this stage, she said.

Mr Nix put it to Ms Collins that she was giving gardaí “very important information” which “weighed heavily” on her and she was “shocked and horrified about the ramblings of John Dundon about the killing of a human being”.

“Correct,” she replied.

“I was terrified, terrified and very upset,” she said later. “I dread these people.”

Mr Nix had opened his cross-examination by asking if she would consider herself to be an honest person and she said she would.

She denied his suggestion that she was a liar.

Mr Nix will continue his cross-examination of the witness on Tuesday.

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