Friday 21 November 2014

Crime lord Christy Keane hauls free furniture for storm victims

Published 12/02/2014 | 07:35

Christy Keane helps carry a couch from a truck in Limerick

CONVICTED drug dealer Christy Keane helped unload four lorry-loads of free furniture which had been donated to flood-hit residents.

Keane (53) was in his home estate of St Mary's Park in Limerick city when three-piece suites, beds and mattresses arrived onto the streets yesterday.

The drugs lord -- who led the notorious Keane gang which was involved in a bloody gangland feud -- was among those moving the free furniture to waiting vans and vehicles.

In 2000, Keane -- a married father with two children -- was sentenced to ten years imprisonment after he was caught carrying €240,000 worth of cannabis in a coal sack across wasteland in St Mary's Park.

At the time, he had split from his close ally and chief gang enforcer, Eddie Ryan, leading to a bloody family feud in Limerick.

Keane was freed from prison in 2009 and spends time between Spain and Limerick.

Last week, the Herald revealed that some of Limerick's most infamous gangs, including the Collopy gang, had been the victims of Limerick's worst ever recorded floods since 1960.

Pat Carey with Careline Moving and Storage, based in Parteen, Co Clare, explained that they were contacted by St Mary's Park residents in recent days to see if there was any free or surplus furniture in the area. Up to 30 suites of furniture and 20 beds, some from furniture depots as far away as Dublin, were delivered into the King's Island area yesterday.

"We distributed it today to the lads in St Mary's Park," said Mr Carey.

Unknown to Mr Carey and the kind-hearted donators, Keane was one of the first on the scene yesterday to avail of the free furniture.

St Mary's Park, once the stronghold of the Keane gang, is known locally as the Island Field as it is surrounded on three sides by water.

FORCED

As a result of Storm Brigid, hundreds of families were forced from their homes by the rising waters.

Gardai have maintained a 24-hour presence in the area as some homes are still not secure.

While Keane was locked up and jailed, his younger brother, Kieran Keane, was kidnapped and murdered by five members of the McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang in 2003.

The attack was a revenge killing for the murder of Christy's enemy Eddie Ryan who was shot dead by Kieran Keane and Philip Collopy.

In 2009, Christy's only son Liam Keane was jailed for ten years after he was caught with a pistol and ammunition in suspicious circumstances at Athlunkard Road, Corbally, Limerick.

hnews@herald.ie

Barry Duggan

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