Judges criticise garda's evidence in Roy Collins case
EVIDENCE given by a senior garda who led the investigations into the murders of Roy Collins and Brian Fitzgerald was "unsatisfactory", the Special Criminal Court said.
The three-judge court has also deemed "unsatisfactory" the failure by gardai to bring to the attention of the District Court that April Collins – a former partner of Ger Dundon – has a three-year suspended jail term for interfering with a witness.
Yesterday, the SCC said the evidence of Detective Inspector (now Superintendent) Jim Ryan who was the officer in charge of inquiries into the brutal killings was "unsatisfactory".
Nightclub bouncer Brian Fitzgerald was murdered outside his home in Limerick on November 9, 2002, at a time when Wayne Dundon, convicted yesterday of Mr Collins' murder, was in prison.
Weeks after gangland figure Gareth Collins received a seven-and-a-half-year jail term for demanding money with menaces in March 2011, he contacted gardai to give information about both killings.
During an April 26, 2011 prison visit with Detective Garda John Farmer, Gareth Collins – no relation to Roy Collins – gave "key points" about both murders. Detective Farmer briefed then Inspector Jim Ryan on the information he obtained.
Supt Ryan told the non-jury court that he did not recall Wayne Dundon's name being mentioned during the briefing.
However, presiding judge Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley said: "The most likely explanation for the lack of any step taken on this aspect is that Superintendent Ryan was fully aware, having been involved in the Brian Fitzgerald case from the start, that the allegation that Wayne Dundon was in Limerick and actively involved in the murder could not be true."
Det Farmer's notes, which referenced both murders, were not disclosed to the defence until after Gareth Collins' evidence had been given, prompting a recall of the supergrass.