A leader of the notorious McCarthy-Dundon crime gang has been charged with the murder of Roy Collins.
Wayne Dundon and associate Nathan Killeen were brought before the non-jury Special Criminal Court, where they were charged with killing the 34-year-old, whose family have been relocated overseas under witness protection.
Mr Collins was shot dead in April 2009 outside his family's pub and arcade business at the Roxboro shopping centre in Limerick.
Dundon, 34, and Killeen, 22, stood in court as they were charged separately before the three-judge court. The court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions certify that both should be charged in the non-jury court. No pleas have been entered by Dundon or Killeen.
In May 2010, James Dillon, originally from the south side of Limerick, was jailed for life for murdering Mr Collins.
Security was tight as Dundon, of Lenihan Avenue, and Killeen, of Hyde Road, both in Prospect, Limerick, were taken to the Dublin courthouse under armed guard. Both are in jail serving sentences for other offences and were remanded in custody until April 23, when the case will be mentioned again. Both plan to apply for legal aid, the court was told.
Shane O'Callaghan, senior counsel for Dundon, told Judge Paul Butler, presiding, that his client was concerned about media reports in recent days, including a public representative on local radio who reportedly congratulated gardai for bringing his client to court. He said that, while he was not asking for a blackout, he requested the court to ask the media to refrain from such prejudicial statements.
Refusing to make a formal direction, Judge Butler said it was fortunate there was no jury involved, but told the barrister to bring any concerns in the future to the court's notice.
Mr Collins was shot dead after a member of his family had testified against a senior figure in the city's McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang. At the time of his murder, government ministers accused the gangsters involved of a direct attack on the criminal justice system. It prompted new anti-gang legislation which increased Garda powers and brought in criminal offences on membership of criminal gangs.
His family, including his father Steve who bravely spoke out against criminal gangs, were put under 24-hour armed protection. Last year Mr Collins, who owned the Steering Wheel pub in Roxboro, his wife Carmel, their adult children and grandchildren eventually left their Limerick home and business and were relocated outside Ireland.