'Our son Roy was a good, upstanding, honourable, decent member of society'
Victim Impact Statement from the Collins family
HERE, in full, is the Victim Impact Statement of the Collins family that was read out at the Special Criminal Court this afternoon:
Our son Roy was an innocent man. He was a good, upstanding, honourable, decent member of society. He was a loving, caring, attentive son, brother, father, partner, cousin, nephew and grandson.
On the April 9, 2009, cowardly evil men, who were devoid of any semblance of mercy or humanity, murdered Roy, shooting him without mercy in an act of cold-blooded, calculated murder.
And why? Because we as a family did our civic duty and respected the law of the land.
It has been exactly 1,833 days since these people infected our lives with their hateful poison and destroyed everything that we held dear in life.
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.
The pain that weighs so heavily on our hearts is a constant reminder of the loss that we will never get over.
There are days when the grief makes it difficult to do even the basic things in life.
When these people killed our son our hopes and aspirations died with him.
We too have been handed a life sentence.
When these evil men brutally ended our Roy’s life he had a happy and successful future ahead of him. He had a good business and was finishing the dream home he built himself.
He was also a loving and wonderful father. Roy doted on his two little girls, Shannon and Charlie, whose little hearts were broken beyond repair when he was taken from them.
They still can not understand why their daddy is not with them. As a grandparent it breaks my heart to see the effect this tragedy has had on them.
These innocent babies should never have experienced such evil – they will go through their lives without the support of their wonderful dad.
It is impossible to quantify what this has done to them. I know they miss Roy every day. He has missed the confirmations and the communions and five Christmases. He will not be there for the big days to come – the graduations, the weddings, the christenings.
They will not have a dad to share their joys and sorrows and support them on their journey through life.
The impact of Roy’s violent death on his mam is impossible to describe.
No mother should have to bury a child, especially one whose life was ended with such callous intent.
Carmel is a shadow of her former, happy self. Roy’s killers took her heart and cast her into a heartbroken, fearful world.
Since 2005, Carmel has lived in constant fear of the threat that has hung over her family.
Roy’s brothers and sister had their worlds torn apart by the events of that terrible day. The loss of their big brother – who was the rock in their lives and left them devastated beyond belief.
Roy’s murder cost them the happiest years of their lives. These thugs have forced them into a life of fear, always looking over their shoulders, terrified of what could happen to them.
They have been forced to uproot and move to another country – away from their friends and family, because of these evil men.
All this happened to us because we did the right thing and stood up these people who have ruined the lives of so many others. By standing up I believe that many people were spared the evil wrath of these people.
But we have paid the ultimate price for that. One child maimed, another murdered. Our business ruined, forced us to leave our home, our family, our friends and the country we love to live, we have to live in exile in a place where we know no one.
Roy’s murder caused shock, anger and disbelief among the good people of Ireland. It left people with a sense of vulnerability when they look into their children’s eyes and think “there but by the Grace of God”.
We want to thank the public, especially the people of Limerick, for their overwhelming support as we endured this dreadful nightmare. We also want to thank from the bottom of our hearts the gardai in Limerick for their hard work and dedication.
I believe that the breaking up of this gang and the new laws enacted by our Dail are part of Roy’s legacy. That somehow, perhaps, his needless death was not entirely in vain.
I do not believe that my family will ever get over our loss. We are left bereft, devastated and empty.
Personally I don’t know how I will get over the loss of my boy who was more a pal than a son. Everyday I relive the moment I held him in my arms after he had been shot and, as he gasped for breathe, he wanted me to know that he loved me and his mam.
I live for my family - that is what life is all about. Having a happy family and good health is as close to perfection that we will ever achieve on this earth.
The day they murdered my son, they wounded me, and I am slowing bleeding to death. Sometimes I think his loss will kill me.
I also have to live with the reality that it was me these criminals came for that morning. I would have readily swapped places with my son.
But I can not turn back time so all I’ve been left with is the time to grieve and to remember and to wonder what if this had never happened.
Maybe God will forgive them because I never will. There is a link gone from my life.
My beautiful boy, my pal, my inspiration – a boy I was so deeply proud to call my son.
Please God mind Roy.