Loaded travellers return to Limerick for 20 weddings and a funeral
IRELAND’s richest traveller traders rolled home from across the world again this year in a fleet of high-end luxury cars to attend 20 weddings and a funeral.
Parts of the Co. Limerick town of Rathkeale were lined with an array of Mercedes, Range Rovers, BMWs and a variety of SUVs.
Most were U.K.-registered, but some bore plates from Italy and Germany where the traders regularly ply their trade.
They included a number of BMW Coupe models that cost in excess of €100,000 and €120,000 Range Rovers that arrived towing caravans.
This year traders from the town were especially active in Italy.
“They’ve been doing well painting white lines in car parks for shops and businesses in the north of the country,” explained a local source.
The traders spend most of the year on the road working across the U.K., continental Europe and even further afield. Their ornate houses in Rathkeale are left empty until their return home for the festive season.
BMW M4 - €100,890
Up to 20 wedding parties had been planned among the Rathkealers over the festive season.
But the annual raucous celebrations were muted this year with the funeral taking place of a popular Rathkealer killed in a car crash in South America.
As a result, some of the weddings were temporarily put on hold.
Christopher ‘Choppers’ Flynn died in the smash near Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay last month.
“A lot of people came back early for the funeral,” the source added.
Range Rover Vogue - €124,300
The 32-year-old father lost his fight for life in a South American hospital.
Sources added that a number of other Rathkeale traveller traders were also injured in the smash.
This year the traveller traders also lost one of their most famous wheeler-dealers in Simon Quilligan, better known as Sammy Buckshot.
The multi-millionaire antiques expert was long regarded as the community’s brightest and best. His willingness to travel far and wide for business inspired other traders.
But he never flashed his wealth like many other traders.
BMW X5 - €85,500
The traveller traders have been hit by the recession like everyone else, but some based in Ireland targeted by the Revenue and the Criminal Assets Bureau.
“The cuter ones haven’t been as a showy as they have been in the past – they know only too well that cars can be seized,” said a source.
BMW 530d - €69,952
Other traveller traders in Ireland have been recently targeted by Gardaí seeking to claim back the ill-gotten gains of criminals and rogue operators.
Just two weeks ago CAB successfully secured a court order to seize a car belonging to Michael Wall (23), from Tallaght, Dublin.
In recent years the Rathkealers suffered a setback thanks to the activities of a gang stealing antique rhino horns for the black-market Chinese medicine market. The gang became targets for Europol as well as U.S. federal agents, resulting in a number of prosecutions.