Brothers jailed for making death threat to former friend
Published 07/05/2011 | 05:00
Brian Collopy: jailed earlier this year. Sean Curtin/Press 22 Kieran Collopy arriving at Limerick Circuit Court yesterday. Brian Gavin/press 22
TWO brothers of a former leading criminal were jailed for five years yesterday after threatening to kill a man they believed had money belonging to their late brother.
Kieran Collopy (35) and Damian Collopy (21) admitted issuing the threat to former family friend Willie Moran.
Mr Moran remains under 24-hour garda protection.
Earlier this year, another brother, Brian (35), was jailed for eight years for intimidating Mr Moran, who was a key witness in the case against his younger brothers.
A judge described the intimidation as an "attack on the administration of justice".
Yesterday, the same judge, Carroll Moran, jailed Kieran and Damian Collopy for five years at Limerick Circuit Court.
The pair pleaded guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Willie Moran at St Senan's Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick, on April 14 last year.
During the case, evidence was heard that the brothers, from St Ita's Street in St Mary's Park, believed Mr Moran owed them money arising out of matters involving the late Phillip Collopy and horses he owned.
Philip Collopy claimed the first life in the bitter Limerick feud when he and Kieran Keane shot Eddie Ryan dead in the Moose bar in 2000.
Philip subsequently died accidentally in 2009 after he put his Glock handgun to his head and pulled the trigger in the mistaken belief that the weapon was empty, having taken out the loaded magazine. He forgot about the bullet in the breach.
Before imposing sentence yesterday, Judge Moran said Mr Moran and his family remained under 24-hour garda protection, which he described as having a "most traumatic and constricting influence on their lives".
Judge Moran said it was "unacceptable" that Mr Moran was subjected to threats "with the additional hint of extortion or assault".
During the case, evidence was heard that Kieran Collopy approached Mr Moran at his home on St Senan's Street at 9pm on April 14, 2010, shouting about wanting Philip's money back.
He warned him that he better have "four or five grand by the end of the night" and shouted: "I hope you are prepared to die" before striking Mr Moran in the jaw.
Kieran later returned to the house with his brother Damian, who threatened to put a bullet in Mr Moran's head.
Evidence was heard that the Moran family home was well served with CCTV and sound recording, which corroborated accounts given by Mr Moran and his wife to the gardai.
Judge Moran imposed eight-year sentences on both men and suspended the last three years.
He backdated the sentences to April 2010 when they first went into custody and ordered that the Collopy brothers have no contact with Mr Moran or any members of his family.