Son of ex-mobster Anthony Kelly is laid to rest as underworld figures pay tribute

Among the mourners were convicted drug dealer and mob boss Brian Collopy, who posed for a photo with Martin ‘Shooter’ McDonagh

Anthony Kelly Sr pictured last weekend

Martin ‘Shooter’ McDonagh (left) and Brian Collopy attend pose for pictures at the funeral

Anthony Kelly Jr

Anthony Kelly

Plumed black horses lead the way

Family around Anthony Kelly Jr’s coffin

Eamon DillonSunday World

Ex-gangland figure Anthony Kelly laid his son to rest last weekend after his tragic death, with underworld figures paying tribute at the service.

Anthony Kelly Jr, who amassed several criminal convictions including threatening to have a garda detective shot by ‘the IRA’, had battled a serious drug addiction.

Kelly Sr, who survived being shot by a Limerick gangland assassin in 2003, was once tried but acquitted of organising the murder of nightclub bouncer Brian Fitzgerald.

Among the mourners last Sunday were convicted drug dealer and mob boss Brian Collopy from Limerick, who posed for a photo with Martin ‘Shooter’ McDonagh.

Martin ‘Shooter’ McDonagh (left) and Brian Collopy attend pose for pictures at the funeral

In 2017, ‘Shooter’ acted as a fair play man as Kelly Jr took part in a bare-knuckle fight in Kilrush, Co Clare, to settle a dispute.

Kelly Sr was also a wedding guest of Shooter’s family when his daughter was married in Galway a number of years ago.

Floral tributes to Kelly Jr were placed on a flat-bed truck adorned with a tricolour, along with framed photos of him and with members of his family at the funeral last Sunday.

A team of plumed black horses drew a glass-sided carriage with his coffin through Kilrush to his final resting place at New Shanakyle Cemetery.

In 2019, Anthony Kelly Jr received a three-year sentence after telling a garda detective he would have the IRA shoot him in the head.

Anthony Kelly Jr

During his trial at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys described Kelly Jr as “a danger to society” with “an appalling record”.

Evidence was heard from a garda that a colleague was trying to arrest a man in Kilrush in July 2018 when Kelly Jr started shouting at the officers.

He shouted: “Ye’re all dead. Get out of Kilrush. The Kellys run the town.”

After Kelly Jr punched another man he was told to leave the area, but instead became aggressive and told an officer: “I’ll have the IRA shoot you in the head. You know I have guns, I’ll shoot you myself.”

It was heard in court the garda believed the threats to be real and that Anthony Kelly had the capability of carrying them out.

The officer was shocked and feared for his own safety.

Family around Anthony Kelly Jr’s coffin

Kelly Jr pleaded guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to the officer and to assault causing harm to the other man at the scene.

His defence counsel explained that he was a chronic drug addict and very messy when under the influence.

Kelly Jr had also faced charges over the bare-knuckle fight in which he knocked a man out in less than 30 seconds of the bout starting.

‘Shooter’ McDonagh had warned onlookers to let the ‘fair fight’ go ahead without anyone else trying to get involved.

“There would have been chaos, but Shooter laid down the law and everyone did what they were told,” a source told the Sunday World at the time.

Kelly Jr, who had two tattoos of guns emblazoned on his chest, was heard on a video of the fight posted online saying “all over” after delivering the knockout blow.

A relative later posted: “Anthony a man of nearly 40 years of age got challenged by... a young fella in his prime. Anthony left him drinking his own blood, his eyes rolling in his head... next time you send a challenge make sure you’re able.”

Anthony Kelly

Kelly’s father hit the headlines in 2007 after being tried and found not guilty of the murder of nightclub bouncer Brian Fitzgerald in Limerick.

Gary Campion was convicted of the killing after evidence from James Martin Cahill, who confessed to being the gunman. He was also jailed for life.

Cahill had made statements implicating Kelly Sr in the plan to kill the innocent bouncer, but he was acquitted by a jury after a lengthy trial.

Cahill claimed he had been given the weapon used to kill Mr Fitzgerald by Anthony Kelly, who also showed him how to use it.

He claimed Kelly Sr said to him when planning the murder: “Don’t mess around”.

Plumed black horses lead the way

His solicitor said after the acquittal that Anthony Kelly Sr had been held in prison awaiting trial “on the word of a self-professed perjuring, perverted killer”.

Kelly Sr has six criminal convictions, including two for larceny and another for living off the proceeds of prostitution.

In August 2003, he survived an assassination attempt when a Limerick criminal John Creamer shot him four times at his Kilrush home.

Kelly kept a low profile after his acquittal, but was photographed in 2008 at the funeral of James Cronin (20), who was shot dead in Limerick city.

He is a former partner of Marie Cronin who was the mother of James Cronin.

Kelly Sr was also one of the early targets of the newly formed Criminal Assets Bureau in the mid-1990s and is reported to have settled a six-figure tax demand.

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