'We did the right thing and stood up to these evil men. We may have saved other lives but we paid the ultimate price; one child maimed, another dead. We live in exile in a place we know no-one'
The father of murder victim Roy Collins wept as he told the court he will never forgive Wayne Dundon and Nathan Killeen for killing his boy.
Steve Collins had waited for his moment since he held his dying son in his arms after he had been shot in the chest at the Coin Castle Amusements Arcade in Limerick on April 9th, 2009.
As Roy gasped his last breaths, his father realised that this was the coldest and most calculated revenge imaginable and that only one man could be responsible.
For years Collins and his family had been persecuted by the crime gang known as Murder Inc since he helped the state secure a lengthy sentence for the notorious Wayne Dundon on charges of threatening to kill.
And ever since they have had to run and hide in fear for their lives making the ultimate sacrifice for abiding by the law of the land by having to flee their home, friends and country to enter the Witness protection Programme.
Today in the Special Criminal Court Steve Collins, his wife Carmel and their extended family watched as justice was finally served on the man who ordered Roy’s murder and his sidekick Nathan Killeen who drove the car.
“Maybe God will forgive them, but I never will,” Steve said during a powerful Victim Impact Statement read to the court after the duo were convicted. “My beautiful boy, my pal, my inspiration…”
Collins struggled with tears as the full impact of the evil that visited his family flooded from him like a tsunami of grief.
In the dock Dundon and Killeen sat impassive trying to look bored yet clearly stunned by the verdict of the court just minutes earlier.
Spectators had thought that Dundon would get off while Killeen was more likely to get convicted due to forensic evidence and CCTV footage that linked him to the shooting.
Collins described his son as an innocent, good, up-standing, loving and caring father, son, brother, cousin who will never be replaced in his family.
“On April 9th cowardly, evil men murdered Roy shooting him in cold blood. It has been 1833 days since these people infected our lives with their poison. Every minute, every hour of every day we are numb with grief. Our sadness is so profound that it is impossible to find words to describe our loss. We will never get over it.
“Our grief makes it difficult to do even the simplest of things. Our hopes and aspirations died with Roy.”
He said his son had a ‘happy successful’ future ahead of him and was building his dream home. He said he was also a wonderful father to his two children who still cannot understand that their ‘Daddy’ is not with them.
“They were innocent babies and should never have experienced such evil. It is impossible to quantify what has been done to them as they miss him every day. He has missed communions, confirmations, five Christmas’,” he said and will miss wedding and christenings in the future including all other family occasions."
Collins said the impact of his violent death has had a horrendous effect on Carmel, Roy’s mum.
“No mother should have to bury a child. Carmel is a shadow of her former happy self. It took her heart and it threw her into a fearful world.”
He said a constant threat hangs over his family since the terrible day when Roy was murdered and it has left them all ‘devastated beyond belief.’
He said his family were always looking over their shoulders and were forced to move to another country ‘because of these evil men.”
“All this happened because we did the right thing and stood up to these evil men. By standing up to them we may have saved other lives but we paid the ultimate price; one child maimed, another dead and we have been forced to leave our home, our friends and our country. We live in exile in a place we know no-one.”
Collins said the death of his son had caused shockwaves across Ireland and he hoped that Roy’s legacy would be saving other lives and the brining in of new laws to fight organised crime.
He thanked the people of Limerick for their support and the Gardai for their ‘hard work and dedication.’
“My family will never get over this loss. Personally, there is no way I will ever get over my boy who was more of a pal than a son.
“As he gasped for breath he wanted me to know that he loved me and his Mam. They day they murdered my son they wounded me and I am slowly bleeding to death. I would have swapped places with him that day for the world.”
Earlier during a two hour ruling on the lengthy case the three judge court discounted much of the evidence given by State witnesses; Gareth Collins and his sisters Lisa and April. They also discounted Christopher McCarthy’s evidence saying they did not meet the standard needed for the Court.
However they believed that Anthony ‘Noddy’ McCarthy was telling the truth when he said he heard Wayne Dundon on the phone in prison organising the murder. There was other evidence taken in the case against Nathan Killeen including DNA, forensic, ballistic and CCTV.
Dundon and Killeen were both handed down a mandatory life sentence following the verdict earlier today. Dundon’s wife Anne Casey and sister in law Ciara Killeen both left the court before sentencing.