NewsCrime Desk

Swaggering gangsters posting video and pictures from jail

Brian Collopy singing in his prison cell
Brian Collopy singing in his prison cell

SWAGGERING gangsters posting videos and photos online are deliberate displays of power.

While it may look like innocent fun, the idea is to let people know they are still in control and to stick two fingers up at the authorities.

Brian Collopy’s singsong in Limerick Prison just looks like one of the lads having a bit of craic.

However, it signals that doing time is no problem to him and so it shouldn’t be any problem to others who might be thinking of talking to the gardaí.

A major drug dealer on the outside, Collopy is likely to have been cut off from his contacts as he serves his sentence.

Access to phones is not a problem for the Collopys, who rule the roost in Limerick and stay out of trouble with the prison regime.

Their one-time arch rivals, the Dundons, were once one of the most powerful prison gangs in the system.

There were over 100 inmates in various prisons affiliated to the infamous gang at the peak of At one stage a prison officer at Wheatfield had a gun pointed at him on his drive home after refusing to open a tuck shop for one of the gangsters.

Their downfall began with the overuse of brutal violence and the threat of sexual assault against inmates.

One set of photos posted online shows two of the Dundon brothers with another prisoner whose head has been partially shaved and scrawled on with a heavy marker.

While those pictured are laughing and smiling, the sinister intent is obvious.

The rules are simple when it comes to dealing with the gangsters behind bars.

Those inmates who don’t pay their debts or carry out a gang task can expect to be subjected to violence or else have family members suffer intimidation.

Vulnerable prisoners who let slip that they may have cash from an insurance payout can become victims of extortion while in jail.

As much as 20 per cent of the prisoners are currently on protection or being detained on protective wings, even if they are not officially given that status.