Fears of gangland war as vicious criminal released
Published 20/03/2010 | 05:00
HEIGHTENED fears of gangland violence have gardai on red alert this weekend after one of country's most-feared criminals, Wayne Dundon, was released from prison.
The 32-year-old gangster, who is a main figure in the notorious McCarthy-Dundon outfit, was last night toasting his first night of freedom. He is expected to return to his home base in Limerick this weekend.
Gardai in the city were keeping a close watch on the movements of the criminal and his associates amid fears of further violence in the city.
Dundon was released from Wheatfield Prison yesterday morning after completing his sentence for threatening to kill Limerick barman Ryan Lee in 2004. Mr Lee provided crucial testimony to secure Dundon's conviction.
The incident occurred after Mr Lee refused Wayne Dundon's sister Annabel (14) entry to Brannigan's bar, a busy pub run by Lee's uncle Steve Collins. Steve's own son, Roy, was shot dead last April.
One man has been charged over the murder of Roy Collins and is awaiting trial.
After learning of Dundon's release yesterday, Roy's father, Steve, said his family could only keep their fingers crossed and hope they were left alone.
Dundon walked free from the Dublin prison shortly after 7am.
Back in Limerick, the Collins family was informed of his release by a telephone call from the gardai.
The exact whereabouts of Dundon were last night unknown, but he is expected back at his Weston home on the southside of Limerick this weekend. His wife, Anne Casey, met him upon his release from prison yesterday.
A family gathering is planned soon and it is believed that Dundon will then leave the country for the continent.
Dundon, who was described by an experienced garda as one of the most violent criminals in Limerick, initially received a 10-year term for threatening to kill Mr Lee in 2005. However, in February 2008, this was reduced to seven years by the Court of Criminal Appeal, which was satisfied the original sentence was "unduly severe".
At the appeal, Dundon's legal representatives informed the court that he intended to leave the jurisdiction upon his release.
The Collins family are hoping that the criminal will move away from Limerick. "I think it is time for him (Wayne) to move his wagons. I hope he will see that there is nothing here in Limerick for him anymore," Mr Collins said.
"I think he is finished in Limerick as far as I can see. There is no more damage they can do, the guards are on top of them."
A brother of Wayne's, Dessie Dundon, and his cousin, Anthony 'Noddy' McCarthy, are serving life sentences for the murder of rival crime boss Kieran Keane in 2003.
Wayne's youngest brother, Ger Dundon, was released from prison last month after serving a six-month sentence for a variety of motoring offences. Ger has earned over 90 criminal convictions and has been residing in Limerick since his release.