Limerick man extradited from Bulgaria to stand trial

A Limerick man who was extradited from Bulgaria to face charges of threatening to kill a key State witness has been sent forward for trial to the Circuit Criminal Court.

Limerick man extradited from Bulgaria to stand trial

Vincent Collopy, aged 35, of St Ita’s St, St Mary’s Park, Limerick, was returned to Ireland last month on foot of a European Arrest Warrant, issued three years ago.

He is charged with threatening to kill prosecution witness Willie Moran, contrary to Section 5 of the Fatal Offences Against The Person Act, and intimidating a witness contrary to Section 41 of the same Act.

The offences are alleged to have occurred at Island Rd, Limerick, on June 9, 2010.

In 2011, Mr Collopy’s brothers, Kieran Collopy and Damian Collopy, of St Ita’s St, St Mary’s Park, Limerick, were both jailed for five years for threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Mr Moran on April 14, 2010.

They alleged that Mr Moran owed up to €5,000 to their late brother, Philip Collopy, who accidentally shot himself in the head in March 2009.

Earlier this month, Mr Collopy was granted bail at Limerick District Court despite strenuous Garda objection.

During the bail hearing, the court was told Mr Moran was under 24-hour armed Garda protection until 12 months ago, and this is under ongoing review.

The court also heard that Mr Collopy has lived in Britain and Bulgaria and holidayed in Spain since he left Ireland four years ago, but he has always travelled under his own passport.

Bail was granted on a number of conditions including that Mr Collopy stays away from the alleged injured party, Mr Moran.

Yesterday, at Limerick District Court, the book of evidence in the case was served by Garda Shane Hayes.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor said the Director of Public Prosecutions had advised that Mr Collopy be sent forward for trial to the next sitting of the Circuit Criminal Court on July 29.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly issued the 35-year-old with the alibi warning which means he must inform the State of any potential alibi witnesses he intends calling within 14 days.

Solicitor John Devane asked for legal aid to be extended to include one junior and one senior counsel and said it was an appropriate case given the nature of the charges.

Judge O’Kelly remanded Mr Collopy on continuing bail on the same conditions imposed earlier this month, when bail was granted on Mr Collopy’s own bond of €5,000, and an independent surety of €9,000 — a third of each had to be lodged to the court.

His mother, Bernie Collopy, agreed to provide the independent surety and was warned that she would forfeit the entire amount if her son breached any of the bail conditions.

Solicitor John Devane told the court yesterday that Mrs Collopy — who was present in court with her son — has provided an undertaking to her bank that the money in her account will not be reduced below €6,000.

Mr Collopy was granted bail on condition he resides at 5 St Senan St, St Mary’s Park, Limerick, and he signs on daily at Henry Street Garda Station.

As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered not to have any contact with the alleged injured party, Mr Moran, and to stay away from the Rhebogue area of Limerick.

Judge O’Kelly also ordered that Mr Collopy surrender his passport and any travel documents and Bulgarian or British identity cards.

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