A prison officer from Wheatfield Prison was giving evidence to the Special Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of two Limerick men charged with murdering the 35-year-old 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 at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre, Limerick.
The non-jury court has heard Mr Collins was at work that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot. The bullet hit him in the chest and he died of his wounds in hospital later.
It is the State’s case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver, and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.
Patrick Murphy testified yesterday that he supervised a “paint party” at Wheatfield Prison in April 2009, explaining that this was a working party of prisoners, who maintained the prison.
He said Dundon and his cousin, Anthony ‘Noddy’ McCarthy, were “non-working members” of the party, who accompanied it every day. He explained that the cousins were allowed to congregate together in a cell without doing any painting.
“That was the arrangement at the time,” he said.
“Rarely if ever” would they have had paint brushes in their hands, he said.
He said that all other prisoners would spend their days either on work or education activities or locked in their individual cells.
He said that prisoners who happened to have friends in a different landing in the prison would normally meet these friends at meal times.
“How normal was the course of events with the McCarthy-Dundons?” asked Michael O’Higgins SC, prosecuting.
Mr Murphy said it was most unusual to have non-working members of a party.
“Is it so they could congregate?” he was asked.
“Yes,” he replied, explaining that this lasted for more than four hours every day.
The trial continues before three judges, presided over by Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.