Tuesday 24 April 2018

Biker killed rival club member over turf row, court told

Alan McNamara arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts
Alan McNamara arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

Eoin Reynolds

A biker shot a member of a rival motorcycle club dead over a territorial dispute in Limerick, a jury has been told.

Alan McNamara (50), of Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Andrew O'Donoghue (51) in Murroe, Co Limerick, on June 20, 2015.

His stepson, Robert Cusack (28), is charged with impeding Mr McNamara's apprehension knowing or believing him to have committed a serious offence. Mr Cusack has also pleaded not guilty.

Prosecuting counsel told the jury they will hear evidence that Mr O'Donoghue, a retired carpenter, was a member of the Road Tramps motorcycle club, which is based at Mountfune.

Mr McNamara left the Road Tramps in the 2000s and later became a member of the Caballeros motorcycle club, based in Limerick city. Counsel told the jury they would hear evidence the shooting was linked to a territorial dispute.

On June 19, 2015, Mr McNamara and his wife visited Kelly's Pub in the village of Doon. Mr McNamara was wearing the Caballeros colours, which consisted of a badge worn on the back of a black sleeveless jacket.

The court was told this was a "provocative act" as Doon is in the Road Tramps' area. Later that evening, three members of the Road Tramps travelled to Doon and Mr McNamara was set upon at around 8.20pm outside the pub and his colours were forcibly removed. This left Mr McNamara "very vexed" at the insult to him and his club.

Counsel told the jurors: "This formed the backdrop to the fatal shooting of Mr O'Donoghue."

Giving evidence yesterday, Road Tramps member Seamus Duggan told the court he had heard of Mr McNamara, who was known as 'Cookie', but he had not met him before June 19.

That day he received a phone call from another club member who said Cookie was in a pub in Doon wearing Caballero colours. He said he and two other Road Tramps went to Doon to find out if it was true. "We wouldn't go to Limerick city drinking," he added.

When they arrived, the three men saw Mr McNamara coming out of the pub. One of them told Mr McNamara to take off his colours. "He didn't, so they manhandled him," he told the court, adding: "They removed his waistcoat from him."

Mr Duggan and the two other Road Tramps then left in one car. As they pulled away, he said Mr McNamara threw his helmet at the side of the car and shouted, "You're dead," at one of them.

The following day, Mr Duggan was in Doon when he saw a man he knew to be a member of the Caballeros pass him in a car. There were two or three others in the car but he didn't know them. He said: "I jumped in to my van and took off as fast as I could because I knew they were following me when I saw them do a U-turn."

Shotgun

Counsel had earlier told the jury Mr Duggan decided to go to the Road Tramps' clubhouse where he would be met by other members of the club. The deceased was at the clubhouse waiting at the gate, when Mr McNamara arrived carrying a sawn-off double-barrel shotgun and coming from the direction of his own home, 1.5km in the opposite direction.

As Mr McNamara ran towards the gate, Mr O'Donoghue tried to close it. Counsel said there would be evidence Mr McNamara then shot Mr O'Donoghue once in the head at point-blank range.

Counsel said there would be evidence that Mr Cusack took the shotgun from his stepfather. The weapon was later found in a wooded area.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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