Dundon seeks country home to escape garda 24-hour watch
Published 18/05/2010 | 05:00
ONE of the country's most notorious criminals is seeking a country hideaway to escape a garda surveillance crackdown on his activities.
Wayne Dundon (32) is planning to move his entire criminal operation from Limerick city to the Newcastle West region in Co Limerick, the Irish Independent has learnt.
The feared crime boss has already looked at several properties in the town. One leading drug dealer has already fled the area over the past 10 days in advance of Dundon's move.
Dundon, who has been under 24-hour garda surveillance since he was released from prison in March, is officially unemployed and it has yet to be established how he will finance his planned purchase.
Members of his gang -- the McCarthy-Dundons -- are also desperately attempting to explore new illegal methods to earn cash as they come under relentless pressure from gardai and the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Meanwhile, the Irish Independent can reveal that the gang is trying to extort €100,000 from the son of a prominent Traveller from Rathkeale in Co Limerick.
Gardai are monitoring the situation as tensions increase between the McCarthy-Dundon outfit and members of the Travelling community in the area.
Since his release from prison, Dundon -- who claims to be a Traveller -- has been spotted regularly in west Limerick. His presence and considerable muscle are most feared in Newcastle West.
A drug dealer based in Newcastle West, who is connected to a rival gang from the southside of Limerick, left the town after learning of Dundon's plans.
The criminal was a well-known figure who regularly paraded in a high-powered 4x4 vehicle -- but he has not been seen in almost two weeks.
Dundon has briefed himself on several properties in the area. Located on the N21 route, Newcastle West is a 30-minute drive from the McCarthy-Dundon stronghold in Ballinacurra-Weston.
Last week, Dundon told a local newspaper he was fearful to leave his home in Hyde Road in the city since he was released from prison.
Gardai in Limerick have adopted a tough 24-hour 'in-your-face' stance with members of the McCarthy-Dundon outfit. Known criminals are routinely stopped and searched by officers on patrol.
In recent weeks, the gang has been left severely depleted after several members were arrested and jailed as officers attempt to break up the criminal organisation, which is regarded as one of the most cunning and dangerous in the country.
Dundon is under intense pressure as a result and even attempted to claim compensation from gardai in Limerick for damages to his property in recent searches.
However, associates of his gang continue to carry out criminal activities. An assassination attempt on a member of the Collopy criminal gang failed last week after a gunman in a fake taxi opened fire on a 27-year-old drug dealer.
Seven males, including two 17 year olds, were arrested as part of the follow-up investigation. All were later released without charge.
Following a TV documentary, Dundon made a complaint to gardai that he felt threatened by Steve Collins, father of Roy Collins, who was murdered by James Dillon, a member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang.
Mr Collins was interviewed by gardai and a file on the matter is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.