Key witness 'mistaken' over Dundon's link to second man's murder
THE main witness against Wayne Dundon in the Roy Collins murder trial has explained how he mistakenly implicated Dundon in a separate murder that he could not have committed at that time.
Gareth Collins was recalled to the witness box yesterday after it emerged that Wayne Dundon had been in prison when the witness said Dundon had tried to get him to help kill bouncer Brian Fitzgerald.
Collins had already testified at the Special Criminal Court, where Dundon (36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick, is on trial with Nathan Killeen (24), of Hyde Road, also in Prospect.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of Roy Collins at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre, Limerick on April 9, 2009.
The non-jury court has heard that the 35-year-old businessman was at work around noon that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot. He was hit in the chest and died in hospital a short time later.
It's the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.
Last month, 31-year-old Gareth Collins testified that Dundon offered him €20,000 to take part in the murder. He said Dundon made the offer over the phone from his prison cell, but said he repeatedly refused.
It has since emerged that the witness also implicated Dundon in the 2002 murder of bouncer Brian Fitzgerald. He told gardai that he hid under a bed when Dundon called for him on the night of that murder, a night Wayne Dundon was in prison.
When he was recalled to the witness box yesterday, he said that he had run upstairs and hidden under a bed when he saw a car arrive that night because he did not want to participate.
"My mother answered the door," he said. "I didn't see him (Wayne Dundon) coming in at all. My mother told me that."
Michael O'Higgins SC, prosecuting, told him that research had indicated that Dundon was in custody from April 2002 until after Mr Fitzgerald's murder in November of that year. He asked Collins if he had any comment to make.
"I hid underneath the bed the night they came," he replied. "My mother's the one who told me he was there."
He confirmed to Mr O'Higgins that this was his first time to hear that Dundon was in prison that night.
Under cross-examination by Remy Farrell SC, for Dundon, he agreed that he had probably told gardai lies when he was arrested following Mr Fitzgerald's murder. He agreed that his account to gardai also differed from his account in court in relation to the murder of Roy Collins.
"I was in fear of what the Dundons would do to me if I told them the truth," he said. He said that it had come as a surprise to learn in the witness box that Dundon had been in prison on the night of Mr Fitzgerald's murder.
Mr Farrell asked him had he not read in the media about it coming to light during the current trial.
"I try to stay away from reading about the trial," he said.
"I suggest you didn't look terribly surprised when that bombshell was dropped," said Mr Farrell.
"Just because I don't look it doesn't mean I'm not feeling surprised," he said.
The trial continues before three judges, presided over by Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley.