Party for murdered Limerick biker plunged into darkness after power cut
Murder of Andrew "Odd" O'Donoghue paved the way for Bandidos club to enter Ireland
A party for a murdered Limerick biker was cut short after an earlier lightning strike in the area plunged their clubhouse into darkness.
Alan "Cookie" McNamara of the Caballeros shot dead Andrew "Odd" O'Donoghue in a revenge attack after he was humiliated by O'Donoghue's Road Tramps gang in 2015.
Last week McNamara was found guilty of murder and he will be jailed for life in October.
On the eve of the verdict members of O'Donoghue's gang gathered at the Road Tramps' clubhouse in Mountfune, Limerick for a party.
A source said they were anticipating a guilty verdict and close associates of Odd were celebrating.
However the party came to an abrupt end when the power went out.
Initially those in the surrounding community believed that the party itself had been the source of the electrical fault but Independent.ie has learned that this wasn't the case.
A spokesman for ESB networks said the fault occurred in the Mountfune area of Co Limerick "as a result of previous lightning damage to the electricity network in the area".
"Crews were immediately mobilised, and having isolated the fault, had to switch out the line on safety grounds at approximately 10:30 pm. This outage impacted on 40 customers in the area."
An ESB Networks crew restored power to the area the following morning and apologised for the outage.
Meanwhile Independent.ie has learned that the murder of Mr O'Donoghue had a major impact on the biker scene in Europe.
This week it was revealed that violent Texan biker gang the Bandidos - which has chapters worldwide - was backing McNamara while he was up on the murder charge and even donned T-shirts in support of him.
At the time of the murder on June 20, 2015 McNamara's Caballeros club was a prospect club for the Bandidos. A source said they were granted full membership as a result of McNamara's "brave" actions.
"The Caballeros were a European club and they were attempting to join the Bandidos. There is no doubt but that Cookie's killing of Odd pushed them over the threshold and the Caballeros were welcomed into the wider Bandidos family."
The Bandidos subsequently initiated a new chapter in Limerick in October 2016 and a source said McNamara is now a lifetime member of this club.
It posted a photo of McNamara online at the time with some words attached.
"A tribute to Bandido Cookie who really showed what the the patch and colours mean to him, when he took matters in his own hands," it said.
"A real fighting Irish all the way. Expect no mercy."
Photos posted online show T-shirts that were being worn by Bandidos members at the party, which called for him to be freed after he killed Mr O'Donoghue. One had the message: "Free Bandido Cookie."
The T-shirts were on show at the initiation ceremony in East Limerick for the the first chapter of the Irish Bandidos.
The European president of the association attended the event and handed out patches to the new members.
Armed gardai kept a close eye on the event, while two Europol agents also travelled to Limerick to monitor the movement of Bandidos representing chapters in continental Europe.
The Bandido Motorcycle Club is a gang that started in Texas 50 years ago. It now has a worldwide membership of more than 5,000 - and a signature armed Mexican bandit logo with the motto, "We are the people your parents warned you about". The notorious gang, also known as the Bandido Nation, is modelled on Mexican bandits who lived by their own rules.
Only last week, two Bandidos members were shot in Australia, while US police in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are looking to question members over a shooting incident.