Sunday 19 November 2017

Gang savagery snuffs out the life of a rugby fanatic

Barry Duggan

SHANE Geoghegan had an exciting life ahead of him before he was brutally gunned down early yesterday morning.

The 28-year-old was engaged to his long-term girlfriend and had only recently moved into his new home in Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, a quiet middle-class estate not normally associated with the city's feuding gangs.

Educated at Crescent College Comprehensive, in Dooradoyle, he was a keen sportsman and played underage rugby with Shannon before joining Garryowen.

He was highly respected among his teammates and, as captain, led Garryowen's third team to success in the North Munster Gleeson League earlier this year.

On Saturday afternoon he lined out at prop forward for the Limerick club against their cross-city rivals Shannon as they suffered their first defeat of the season, going down on a 6-3 scoreline in Coonagh.

Last night, shocked teammates recalled their night celebrating last season's success with their captain, 'Gagsy'.

"We had a great night in Bobby Byrne's and Anthony O'Dwyers' pubs in Wolfe Tone Street. He was a man you could always count on and was never found wanting on the field," said one teammate.

"He played a captain's role and winning the league was made all the more special with Gagsy as captain. What can you say? We are in bits about this. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said the grieving teammate.

Shane returned home on Saturday evening and went to a nearby friend's house to watch the Ireland-Canada rugby match. He spent the night there before he walked out the door to return home at 1.30am.

But unknown to him a gunman was lying in wait and mistook the Limerick man for an associate of the Collopy gang who lived nearby. Instinctively, Shane fled for his life as a hail of gunfire was unleashed at him. At least 14 shots were fired and a 9mm bullet struck him in the head.

Limerick city has been left reeling at the latest atrocity.

One week before the All-Blacks rugby team travel to Thomond Park to take on Munster, the city and sporting community have been thrown into deep mourning.

Shane Geoghegan was the son of Tom and Mary and had one brother, Anthony, who are devastated by the death.

Family members and friends visited the scene yesterday and cried openly as his body was removed from the scene on what is surely one of the darkest days to ever visit Limerick.

Last night there were increased calls for tougher legislation to deal with the country's gangland criminals.

Gardai in the city are becoming increasingly frustrated with the laws of the land which they claim limits their ability to fight serious criminals.

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