Garda Noel Nash was giving evidence to the Special Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of two men charged with murdering the businessman on April 9, 2009.
Wayne Dundon, aged 36, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, and Nathan Killeen, aged 24, of Hyde Rd, Prospect, have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year-old Roy Collins at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre, Limerick.
The non-jury court has heard Mr Collins was at work around 12pm that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot, hitting him in the chest. He died of wounds to his abdomen.
It is the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver, and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.
Gda Nash said that he was not carrying a firearm when he searched a house in Crecora Avenue later that day, but was given access to his partner’s firearm when he spotted Nathan Killeen in the attic.
“When I looked for assistance, Sergeant O’Neill handed me his weapon,” Gda Nash recalled. “It was at that point I raised the gun and pointed it at Nathan Killeen while he was hiding under the insulation in the attic.”
Gda Nash said the gun was never in contact with Killeen or his clothing, and added that the last time he had fired a weapon was during his training in 1998.
Earlier, another garda testified that some of the trial’s main witnesses had testified out of “a necessity to stay alive”. Garda James Hourihan was one of the gardaí who took an initial statement from the main prosecution witness against Dundon, Gareth Collins.
The 31-year-old testified that Dundon offered him €20,000 to take part in the murder, but said he refused. His sister, April Collins, has also testified for the State.
Under cross-examination by Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha, defending Killeen, Gda Hourihan said Dundon had threatened to kill members of the Collins family in 2011.
“It forced the hand of the Collins family to come forward and make statements,” he said. “It was a necessity to stay alive in my opinion.”
The trial continues before three judges, presided over by Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.