Steve Collins in road accident that claimed life of elderly pedestrian

Steve Collins holding a pic of his murdered son Roy
Steve Collins holding a pic of his murdered son Roy

An elderly woman died in a traffic accident involving a car driven by Steve Collins, the father of murdered businessman Roy Collins.

Steve Collins, who bravely led the fight against gangland criminals in Limerick following his son's killing, had been driving the vehicle at the time of the fatal collision.

Mr Collins is said to be shocked and devastated following the accident.

It is understood his son, Steve Junior, was also in the vehicle at the time, and is also severely shocked.

The deceased was named locally as retired post mistress Maura O'Brien (89), from Milford Grange, Castletroy.

Mr Collins and his family were placed in a witness protection programme abroad after he testified against members of the Dundon McCarthy criminal gang who murdered his son Roy in 2009.

The Collins family have been regular visitors back to Limerick after members of the Dundon mob were jailed for life in 2014.

Shortly after 10am yesterday, gardaí went to the scene of a traffic collision in a car park on the outskirts of Limerick.

When emergency services and gardaí arrived, they found an elderly woman fatally injured under Mr Collins's 4x4 vehicle.

The vehicle was covered with tarpaulin sheeting and the scene was sealed off.

Investigators also called in a Garda forensic collision inspector, as is normal procedure following a traffic collision.

Gardaí are to talk to Mr Collins about the circumstances surrounding the incident and study CCTV at the scene.

The incident is being treated as a tragic accident.

Mr Collins became well-known in Limerick and nationally as during the sentencing hearing of his son's killers, he described the torture his family had been through at the hands of Wayne Dundon and his gang.

The family had been under threat daily from the mob that tried to ruin the Treaty City.

"It has been exactly 1,833 days since these terrorists infected our lives with their hateful poison and destroyed everything that we held dear in life," Mr Collins said in his victim statement.

"Every moment of every hour of every day that has passed since that awful day, we are numb with grief. Our sense of loss and sadness is so profound that it is impossible to find words to describe it," he added.

The court heard that Wayne Dundon had ordered the murder from prison and that Nathan Killeen was the driver of the getaway car.

Roy Collins, an entirely innocent party, was at work around midday when James Dillon, the hired gunman, entered the victim's amusement arcade and discharged a single shot, hitting him in the chest.

He was conscious for a time following the shooting but died in hospital less than an hour later.

Steve later told how he held his son in his arms as he lay dying on the floor of the premises next door to Steve's pub, The Steering Wheel.

"All this happened to us because we did the right thing and stood up to terrorists who have ruined the lives of so many others," Steve told the court.

"By standing up, I believe that many people were spared the evil wrath of these people."