Imminent release of notorious gangland thug Keane raises revenge fears
Gardai are on high alert ahead of the release from jail in the coming days of one of Ireland's most notorious gangland figures.
Limerick thug Liam Keane (32) will be back on the streets early next week after serving a 10-year sentence in the high-security Portlaoise prison.
He and another gangster pleaded guilty to the possession of a Glock semi-automatic weapon and 13 rounds of ammunition in Limerick on May 4, 2008.
It is not known if Keane, who is understood to have piled on the pounds in prison, will travel to Spain where his notorious drug-dealing father Christy Keane is understood to be based.
Christy Keane (55) was shot on the grounds of the University of Limerick last June as he parked his car early in the morning.
The attack left him seriously injured.
Detectives last month arrested three criminals in relation to the shooting, but they were released without charge.
Liam Keane's release is expected to increase gangland tensions, with fears that he might attempt to avenge the attempted murder of his father.
The young thug has long-standing links to the Brian Rattigan gang faction that was involved in the deadly Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.
He was also associated with the mob linked to murdered Finglas gangster John Daly.
However, Keane is best-known for his involvement in the notorious Keane/Collopy gang that was involved in a feud with the McCarthy/Dundon outfit for almost a decade in Limerick.
"Gardai will be closely monitoring Keane's movements when he's released from jail. He has connections to a number of serious Dublin criminals as well as his own gang in Limerick," a source told the Herald.
A prison source said Keane has "put on a load of weight" while behind bars but has been "keeping his head down" since 2011.
This is a major change from his behaviour when he first entered the prison system in 2008 when he was classified as "extremely unruly" and caught with illegal mobile phones and other contraband on several occasions.
Keane has been locked up since he and his associate Greg Crawford (29) were arrested during a major operation mounted by the Emergency Response Unit.
The Glock, which was loaded and ready to use, was found in their car.
Keane, who has around 50 previous convictions, walked free from a murder trial in November 2003 after several witnesses denied making statements to gardai identifying him as the killer of Eric Leamy (19) in 2001.