News

Fears release of gangster and supergrass could spark feud

NewsBy Eamon Dillon
Jimmy Collins
Jimmy Collins

After five years behind bars, thug Jimmy Collins gives the thumbs up to his freedom back in the arms of his loving family.

The infamous gangster turned supergrass has walked free from jail after serving his time for threatening to kill a businessman and making extortion demands.

Also freed this week was his son Gareth, who was jailed over the same attempt to force Mark Heffernan to hand over €80,000 in 2009.

There are fears the pair’s presence back on the streets could stoke tensions between rival criminal factions in the city.

Evidence given by Jimmy’s son Gareth, daughter April and wife Alice helped put mob bosses John and Wayne Dundon behind bars for the murders of innocent rugby player Shane Geoghegan and businessman Roy Collins.

April had been under constant protection from the Gardaí, but that was recently withdrawn after she regularly gave officers the slip.

Her ex-partner and father of three of her children Ger Dundon is regularly spotted around Limerick.

Jimmy and April posed together for a photo posted on social media just hours after his release last Friday.

He also gives a thumbs up in front of a Christmas tree after polishing off a hearty meal, although Gareth appears to have stayed out of camera range.

The father and son’s jailing in 2010 became the point when members of the Collins clan turned on the Dundons.

Up until then they had been loyal members of the McCarthy-Dundon faction during their bitter feud with the Keane-Collopy gang.

Their decision to turn on their old allies forced the Dundons into protective custody inside prison.

Sources at the time told the Sunday World how gang members were fed up serving time while the Dundons walked free.

Both sides blamed each other for ‘ratting’ to the Gardaí, but the Dundons have come off worse in the war behind bars.

Gang members who wanted out of the Dundon faction then had to fight bare-knuckle against Gareth before being accepted.

One of those was James Dillon, the man convicted of murdering Roy Collins, who later died in jail from medical problems.

Collins predicted at the time there would be an all-out war with the Keane-Collopy faction. He added: “It’s not about drugs. It’s just that we hate each other’s guts.”

A month later he was photographed at a meeting with his gangland rivals and declared: “I want peace for my family and I hope to God it happens. It is happening.”

In 2010, Jimmy, Gareth and Christopher McCarthy were each jailed for seven-and-a-half years for their part in a two-year campaign to extract cash from Mr Heffernan.

Ger Dundon and Dave ‘Skull’ McCormack were also jailed for five years after pleading guilty to violent disorder.