Saturday 29 November 2014

Five men jailed for life over Keane murder

Liz Walsh

Published 22/12/2003 | 00:11

FIVE Limerick were jailed for life after being convicted of the murder of Limerick crime boss Kieran Keane and the attempted murder of his nephew, Owen Treacy.

On Saturday, after deliberating for more than 15 hours over three days in the Central Criminal Court, the jury of seven women and five men returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all five accused for the murder of Kieran Keane at Drombana, Limerick on January 29 last. The jury also found them guilty of the attempted murder of Owen Treacy and of two counts of falsely imprisoning Kieran Keane and Owen Treacy on the same date.

They are: Desmond Dundon (20), Hyde Road, Limerick; David "Frogs Eyes" Stanners (31), Pineview Gardens, Moyross; James McCarthy (24), Delmege Park, Moyross; Christopher "Smokie" Costelloe (20), Moylish Avenue, Ballynanty Beg and Anthony "Noddy" McCarthy (21), Fairgreen, Garryowen.

As they were being led away, Anthony McCarthy shouted towards the Keanes: "For every action there's a reaction - remember that." And James McCarthy shouted "bastard" towards Owen Treacy.

On the stand, Sophie Keane said the men that killed her husband were "animals". She said that her life was finished the day "they took my husband's life".

Kieran Keane (36), of Garryowen Limerick had his hands tied behind his back and shot once in the head in an execution-style killing. There was evidence that he was tortured at or before the time of death. Owen Treacy (31), of Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick was stabbed 17 times.

Treacy, the chief prosecution witness, was in court on Saturday as the jury came back with their verdict, shortly before 6pm.

The state's case was that all five accused acted as part of a joint enterprise and, as such, were all involved in the murder and abduction.

From the outset, the court was told that this was a one-witness case, with the charges against the five accused depending on the evidence and credibility of Owen Treacy. During eight days in the witness box, in which he was subjected to intense cross-examination by five defence teams, Mr Treacy alleged that four men were to be murdered on the night Kieran Keane was shot dead and he himself was left fighting for his life after being stabbed 17 times.

The court heard that he and Kieran Keane arrived at Anthony "Noddy" McCarthy's house in Fairgreen, Limerick at approximately 7pm on the night of the killing and were led inside by Mr X, who was not before the court.

Desmond Dundon placed hoods over their heads and taped their hands behind their backs. Anthony "Noddy" McCarthy pointed a handgun at them and ordered them to sit. Two others came in from the kitchen and although they were wearing balaclavas, he said he recognised David "Frogs Eyes" Stanners by his eyes and voice.

They were then told to lure two brothers, Kieran and Philip Collopy "out the road" but they refused. Owen Treacy said it was clear they intended to kill the Collopys as well as himself and Kieran Keane.

After approximately one hour in Fairgreen they were ordered into the boot of a silver Micra at gunpoint. The Micra was driven by Noddy McCarthy, with Mr X in the passenger seat.

They were taken to another house in Roundwood where they were again asked to make a call to the Collopys to get them "out the road". Noddy McCarthy then walked them at gunpoint to a waiting Hiace van. David Stanners drove and Christopher "Smokie" Costelloe sat in the back with a gun.

When the van stopped at a lonely road at Drombana, David Stanners pulled Kieran Keane out while Smokie held the gun.

Owen Treacy said he watched Kieran Keane "being pushed to the ground like a dog and shot like a dog, with his hands tied behind his back".

Smokie Costelloe then came at Owen Treacy with a knife and stabbed him in the neck, after which David Stanners grabbed it and began stabbing him "almost to death".

He told the court he heard James McCarthy saying "come on, he's dead" and the three left the scene.

The court heard that Treacy then ran for help, having loosened his hands in the van.

Judge Paul Carney sentenced all five accused to the mandatory life sentence for murder and deferred sentence for the remaining three counts until February 3. He praised the jury and exempted them from further jury service for life.

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