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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Convicted rapist Thomas O'Neill stabbed and slashed in attack

Thomas O'Neill and April Collins at their wedding. Picture: Facebook
Thomas O'Neill and April Collins at their wedding. Picture: Facebook
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A convicted rapist married to the former partner of a crime boss has been stabbed and slashed in an attack in Limerick.

Thomas O’Neill (29) was jailed for his part as the leader in the gang rape of a woman in Cratloe Woods in County Clare on January 23, 2004.

In February this year he married April Collins, the former partner of Limerick criminal Ger Dundon who turned State witness in 2013 when she helped Gardai bring down the then-powerful Dundon mob family.

April had been in a relationship with Dundon since she was about 15 and has three children with him and one with rapist O’Neill.

O’Neill was attacked on Tuesday in the Fedamore area of Limerick and slashed and stabbed, receiving injuries to his back and arms.

He was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where the matter was reported to gardai in Roxboro station.

It is understood gardai are investigating the background to the incident although no official complaint was made to them.

O’Neill is now said to be in fear of his safety having made many enemies in crime circles over the years.

“The list of potential suspects in any attack on O’Neill is huge,” said one source.

O’Neill got a ten year sentence in 2005 after his gang attacked a couple when they found them in the woods in the early hours of the morning.

The trial heard the couple arrived in the woods around 3am. Twenty minutes later the gang arrived in a stolen car.

Armed with a golf club, screwdriver, wheel brace and a shovel, the gang threatened the couple demanding their mobile phones and wallets.

The woman was severely struck on the shoulder with a golf club. The man had an extendable baton and when the youths found it they assumed he was a garda and shouted "he's a cop, do him."

They ordered him into the boot of the car while Barry held a screwdriver to his side. From inside the boot the man heard the gang shout "my turn next" as the woman was repeatedly raped.

The gang threatened to burn the car with the man in the boot if she resisted.

The ordeal lasted for around 45 minutes, and only ended when the man managed to escape from the boot and summon help from a passing motorist.

During his escape he was viciously beaten but got hold of two golf clubs to defend himself.

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