Tuesday 23 December 2014

Steve Collins: 'I was more scared of children sent to intimidate me than Wayne Dundon'

Anita McSorley

Published 19/07/2014 | 13:25

The father of murdered Roy Collins has revealed he was more intimidated by children "sent to frighten" him than "Wayne Dundon".

Steve Collins said children as young as 12 would arrive outside his former house in Limerick with the intention of scaring him and his wife, Carmel.

Steve Collins, pictured wife Carmel, after Wayne Dundon and Nathan Killeen were found guilty of the murder of Roy Collins, at the Courts of Criminal Justice.

"They (the Dundons) would send kids up outside the house on BMX bikes and I knew they were there to intimidate me.

"They had these little 12-year-old riding up to you and trying to intimidate you. The kids would be reaching under their saddle and you just didn't know what they had there."

"I was more scared of those kids than I was of Wayne Dundon."

Speaking to Marian Finucane on RTE Radio 1 this morning, Mr Collins spoke of his relief at  Wayne Dundon and Nathan Killeen being convicted for the murder of his son, and revealed "getting justice makes everything we done worthwhile."

Mr Collins and his family endured a decade long terror campaign  of taunting by the infamous McCarthy/Dundon gang, resulting in them having to relocate as part of a witness protection programme.

The trauma began in 2004 when Steve's adopted son Ryan refused to allow Wayne Dundon's then 14-year-old sister into a nightclub where he was working as a doorman.

His refusal resulted in him shot twice by a hitman.

In April 2009, Steve's son Roy died after being shot in the chest at an amusement park in Limerick where he was working.

"A letter came out to say I was to be shot for €75,000. They missed me and got my son," Mr Collins revealed this morning.

He said the court case was full of "ups and downs" and that "it was a long road to get justice but it makes everything worthwhile."

"I'm happy for my family that justice is served."

Twelve members of the McCarthy/Dundon gang and their associates will serve life sentences for murder and Mr Collins believes the ruthless gang have been wiped out.

"They were the most vicious gang Ireland had ever seen. The McCarthy/Dundons are nothing now. I'm confident of that. That gang is gone. They'll never get out in a lifetime."

He spoke about he and his family's ordeal over the ten years.

"I was being followed by two armed gardai, my sons were too. I was going about in a bullet proof vest."

"They burned down one of our pubs and they put pipe bombs at the back of the other pub."

"They were sending kids up in BMX bikes to intimidate you."

"I was more scared of those kids coming up to me than Wayne Dundon. They put their arms around kids from poor areas and the likes of Wayne Dundon showing them the life of bling."

"My wife, Carmel, she's not the same woman she was before this."

Speaking about the day his son Ryan was shot, he said "I thought he was going to die that day".

"That guy came in and shot him in the knee and then shot him again and left him for dead.

"Looking at my son on the ground almost bleeding to death was heart-breaking."

He hopes he and his family can eventually return to Ireland.

"It was heart-breaking having to make that decision to leave all your family and your friends. There's not one of us wanted to go away but we felt we had to go away."

"We had to try and see could we rebuild our lives somewhere else but we always hoped to get back someday."

"It helped with the grieving and for that reason alone it was worthwhile, but it’s not home and when you’re forced to go away"

"Getting home is always on your mind and when everything settles down we'd love to come home but that’s up to the security people."

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