Sunday 22 April 2018

Ger Dundon's ex-girlfriend drove erratically as her armed garda protection followed

April Collins pleaded guilty to the careless driving offence
April Collins pleaded guilty to the careless driving offence

Martin Grant

The woman who helped put one of the country's most dangerous criminals behind bars has avoided jail after pleading guilty to careless driving witnessed by her armed Garda protection.

April Collins (28) was once part of the close-knit Dundon gang based in Limerick. She was previously in a relationship with criminal Ger Dundon and is the mother of his three children.

She was the key witness in the murder case against John Dundon - her ex-partner's brother. John Dundon was convicted of the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan.

She also gave evidence against Wayne Dundon, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Roy Collins.

On October 5, 2013, Collins left a friend's house on Lenihan Avenue in Limerick and drove around during a 85-minute period. Garda David Higgins was assigned to her armed protection duty.

Garda Higgins told Limerick District Court that Collins would indicate one way, but then manoeuvre in the opposite direction. He also described how Collins conducted an unsignalled U-turn.

The garda later learned that Collins was disqualified from driving and had 57 previous convictions - 56 of which related to driving offences.

Her defence solicitor said that while her previous convictions were an issue, she has not come to Garda attention since. The solicitor appealed to the court to view the context of the offence.

Judge Marian O'Leary gave Collins a six-month suspended sentence, an €800 fine and further disqualified her from driving for five years.

April Collins was just 16 when she began a relationship with Ger Dundon. The pair had three children together before they split in 2011. Shortly afterwards, Collins began a relationship with convicted rapist Thomas O'Neill.

On the night of November 9, 2008, when Mr Geoghegan was shot five times as he ran for his life, it emerged that April and Ger Dundon were staying in the Hilton Hotel in Limerick city.

On the night before the murder, April said she heard how John Dundon, at his home on Hyde Road, Limerick, ordered Barry Doyle to kill John McNamara - who lives four doors away from Mr Geoghegan.

"I was in the house when John Dundon ordered the hit," she testified. April then claimed Dundon told Doyle: "The gun is there. You kill him."

Three of the Dundon brothers - Wayne, John and Dessie - are serving life for murder. Ger is the only one of the four gangster brothers not in jail.


Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News