Thursday 8 December 2016

'Please stop,' Shane pleaded -- but the gunman took aim and then shot him

Barry Duggan

Published 16/02/2012 | 05:00

Victim Shane Geoghegan
Victim Shane Geoghegan
Philip Collopy: helped gardai before shooting himself
Shane Geoghegan's killer, Barry Doyle
Garda Supt John Scanlan

JUST after 5pm on the night of November 8, 2008, a young rugby player named Keith Earls scored his first try for Ireland against Canada at Limerick's newly redeveloped Thomond Park.

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The 26,000 at the game were in raptures as the local lad from Moyross was playing his first match for his country and scored with his first touch of the ball.

However, at a house on the southside of the city, there was no talk of rugby. April Collins (21) -- a girlfriend of Ger Dundon -- later gave evidence that she was in the company of his brother, John Dundon, Barry Doyle and Nathan Killeen at 80 Hyde Road.

Ms Collins had been in a relationship with Ger Dundon since she was 15 or 16.

John Dundon said he had everything sussed out about John McNamara and it was time to make a move. Nathan Killeen said everything was not sorted. John Dundon replied that he had the gun and a car ready to go and described what John McNamara looked like.

According to Ms Collins' evidence in court, he told Barry Doyle: "The gun is there. You kill him".

As Ireland trounced Canada at Thomond Park, Shane Geoghegan (28) watched the game in the company of friends near his home in Kilteragh, Dooradoyle.

Chased

Earlier that day, the strongly built captain of Garryowen's thirds team had played in a keenly contested rugby match against cross-city rivals Shannon.

His girlfriend, Jenna Barry, spent the early evening with Mr Geoghegan before calling into his mother's house nearby and then returning home. She left her boyfriend safe in the knowledge that he was with friends, just a short walk from the couple's home.

Ms Barry received a text from her boyfriend just before 1am and was expecting him home shortly afterwards. But just as Mr Geoghegan prepared to say goodnight to his friends, a stolen Renault Espace, with Barry Doyle on board, drove into the estate.

Doyle was there on instruction to murder John McNamara, who lived four doors from Mr Geoghegan.

Mr Geoghegan started to walk home and Doyle saw him coming.

"I saw someone walking across the estate. I got out of the car. I shot at him," he later said. "He ran. I just left off a few (more shots) and went after him again. I was looking around the cars," Doyle said. "I heard heavy breathing."

Realising that for some inexplicable reason a gunman had set his sights on him, Mr Geoghegan ran for cover around the back of a neighbouring house. Doyle chased him into a back garden and Mr Geoghegan, cornered, begged for his life.

"Please stop," he pleaded. But Doyle took aim and shot him in the back of the head.

Eight shots were fired in all and Mr Geoghegan was hit five times -- in his right upper arm, in his abdomen, twice in his back and in his head.

Hearing the shooting, his girlfriend looked out and saw someone run down the road to the Renault.

"The wheels were turning and screeching and someone was shouting, 'Drive! Drive!" she said. She rang 999. Then she sent Mr Geoghegan a text message reading: "I think there's been a shooting."

Irish Independent

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