October 22nd, 2014

Limerick criminal Nathan Killeen charged with 2008 gun murder before Special Criminal Court

Crime DeskBy Niall Donald
Nathan Killeen (right) with Annabell and John Dundon
Nathan Killeen (right) with Annabell and John Dundon

A KEY associate of Limerick’s notorious Dundon brothers has been charged with the brutal execution of his childhood pal, James Cronin.

Nathan Killeen (23), of Hyde Road, Prospect, Limerick, was brought before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today and formally charged with the 2008 killing.

Tragic James Cronin (20) was shot in the head and his body was dumped in a shallow grave on a date unknown between April 5 and April 7, 2008 in Limerick city.

It is believed he was executed by the McCarthy-Dundon gang after he broke down in tears after helping murder Mark Moloney in Garryowen two days earlier.

Gardai believe Cronin had been driving the car when Moloney was murdered by the McCarthy-Dundon gang in Garryowen.

After seeing Cronin’s emotional reaction to Moloney’s death,  the Limerick gang members are believed to have decided he was at risk of being “turned” by the gardai and decided to kill him.

In court today, Detective Garda Christine Bergin gave evidence of meeting Killeen in the confines of the court and handing him a copy of the charge sheet.

She said that when the charge was explained to him in ordinary language, Killeen replied: "It's a stitch up."

Prosecution solicitor Mr Michael O' Donovan said that the charge was a non-scheduled offence and that the Director of Public Prosecutions had certified that the ordinary courts were inadequate and that Killeen should be charged before the Special Criminal Court.

Killeen spoke briefly to confirm his identity when asked by the court registrar. Detective Garda Bergin handed the book of evidence to Killeen and Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, presiding that the non-jury court, remanded him in custody until October 9.

Nathan Killeen (21) is currently in protective custody with Dessie and John Dundon and has been described as the last “serious ally” left to the brothers.

His older sister, Ciara, has been in a long-term relationship with mobster John Dundon.