Tuesday 28 January 2020

Leading gangland figure arrested after high-speed wrong-direction M7 chase and failing to stop at checkpoint

Liam Keane was jailed for having a loaded weapon
Liam Keane was jailed for having a loaded weapon

Barry Duggan

Notorious criminal Liam Keane has been arrested after a high speed garda chase on the wrong side of a motorway.

Keane (32), who was only released from prison last month, was arrested over the weekend following a dramatic late night chase by gardai.

Gardai on patrol saw Keane driving a 2006 registered Mercedes vehicle in the Carew Park of Limerick city shortly after 6pm on Saturday evening. He failed to stop at a checkpoint and drove away at speed in the direction of the M7 motorway.

With gardai in pursuit, the son of convicted drug dealer Christy Keane, drove up the off ramp of the motorway and into on coming traffic along the route which becomes a dual carriageway as it cuts through the south-western half of Limerick city.

He continued at speed for several miles against traffic coming from the Clare side of the city as gardai across the city were alerted.

Officers set up a checkpoint at the junction of the N69/N18. Keane drove off the dual carriageway but failed to stop at the checkpoint.

He was arrested hours later after 11pm in the Garryowen area of the city near his father’s home.

He is expected to appear before Limerick District Court at some stage today.

He will be charged with several alleged offences including endangerment, a number of counts of dangerous driving, failing to stop and no insurance.

Keane recently completed a 10-year sentence in the high-security Portlaoise prison.

He and another gangster pleaded guilty to the possession of a Glock semi-automatic weapon and 13 rounds of ammunition in Limerick on May 4, 2008.

His father, Christy Keane (55) was shot on the grounds of the University of Limerick last June as he parked his car early in the morning.

The attack left him seriously injured.

Detectives last month arrested three criminals in relation to the shooting, but they were released without charge.

Keane has been locked up since he and his associate Greg Crawford (29) were arrested during a major operation mounted by the Emergency Response Unit.

The Glock, which was loaded and ready to use, was found in their car.

Keane, who has around 50 previous convictions, walked free from a murder trial in November 2003 after several witnesses denied making statements to gardai identifying him as the killer of Eric Leamy (19) in 2001.

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