Thursday 8 December 2016

Well-known Limerick criminal dies in early morning car crash

David Raleigh

Published 04/10/2016 | 17:44

The road at Carnane, Limerick close to where the incident occurred
The road at Carnane, Limerick close to where the incident occurred

A well-known Limerick criminal died in a car crash in the early hours of this morning, gardaí said.

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Christopher "Guna" Curtin, (22), of Salvia Court, Southill, was killed when a car he was a passenger in struck a ditch.

The single vehicle collision happened on the R511, Fedamore - Limerick Road at Carnane, Co Limerick shortly after 2am, Tuesday.

Gardaí said Curtin, who had around 40 previous convictions, "suffered fatal injuries when the car he was travelling in as passenger left the road and struck a ditch."

"He was pronounced dead at scene. His body was taken to University Hospital Limerick. A post-mortem is to be arranged," a spokesperson added.

The driver of the car, a woman, aged in her early 20's, "received minor injuries and was taken to University Hospital Limerick".

No other injuries were reported.

The road was closed for several hours to allow Garda Forensic Collision Investigators carry out a detailed examination of the fatal crash site.

Gardaí at Roxboro Road appealed for witnesses, "particularly those who travelled the R511 close to Fedamore between 1am and 2.20am this morning, Tuesday 4th October 2016".

In February 2012, while he was the subject of a garda manhunt, Curtin walked into Limerick circuit courtroom wearing shades to attend his sentencing hearing for burglary at the home of a prominent solicitor.

Curtin, then aged 18, had escaped from custody two days previously as he was brought to prison on remand.

He was subsequently jailed for three years, with the final year suspended, after pleading guilty to burglary at the home of solicitor Turlough Herbert, a former Limerick hurler.

Curtin was one of three men who broke into Mr Herbert's home at Sallymount, Castleconnell, on May 5, 2011.

Mr Herbert had confronted the three burglars and was bitten by one of them, not Curtin.

The court was told that two of the three men, but not Curtin, were armed with a knife and a scissors.

The gang fled in Mr Herbert’s jeep after terrorising him and his sister.

A probation report at the time said Curtin was of a “high risk of re-offending”.

Curtin was later jailed for stealing a car after he was pursued by Gardai along the Limerick Tunnel, reaching speeds of 180km in June 2013.

Curtin's father Christopher Curtin snr, and his uncle, Paul Curtin, were both jailed for a total of ten years in February 2009, after a six-year-old girl was injured in a gun attack in Limerick.

Christopher Curtin, aged 39 at the time, was caged for seven years, while his brother, Paul, then 28, was jailed for three years.

On May 31, 2008, Christopher snr, armed with a Spanish-made 12-gauge, Lamber semi-automatic shotgun, opened fire on a car carrying members of the notorious McCarthy-Dundon gang, at Yeat's Avenue, Kincora Park, Limerick.

Fragments from gunfire struck a six-year-old girl in the ankle. The child, who was playing in her front garden, was "very lucky not to have been seriously injured", presiding judge Carroll Moran commented at the sentencing hearing.

Christopher Curtin jnr will repose at Cross's Funeral Home, Limerick, Wednesday, from 4.30pm with removal at 6.30pm.

Requiem Mass is to take place at the Holy Family Church, Southill, Thursday at 11am with burial afterwards in Mount St Oliver Cemetery.

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