Limerick gangster Vincent Collopy posts Facebook pictures while on the run
THIS is life on the run for a leading criminal who has been wanted by gardai for almost two years.
Vincent Collopy (33), from St Mary's Park, Limerick city, uploaded photos of himself and family members -- including a criminal brother -- on to his Facebook site, while evading police across Europe.
He was arrested along with younger brother Jonathan Collopy (25) at his hideout at a popular tourist spot in Bulgaria on Wednesday following a police raid.
Police recovered a quantity of drugs, ammunition and a magazine for an AK-47 during the raid. The son of Jack and Bernie Collopy, Vincent Collopy will remain in custody in Bulgaria for at least a week before his fate is decided.
Bulgarian officials may decide to prosecute the two brothers before enforcing an extradition warrant, which was issued by gardai prior to his arrest in the Sunny Beach resort on the Black Sea.
When he is eventually deported back to Ireland, he is likely to face charges of making threats to kill and intimidation following a garda investigation in Limerick.
Vincent Collopy has a daughter with Natalie Keane -- the only daughter of convicted drug dealer Christy Keane.
He went on the run after three of his brothers were arrested for threatening to kill and intimidate a former associate.
On June 9, 2010, Vincent Collopy drove past former associate Willie Moran on Oliver Plunkett Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick.
His brother Brian was a passenger and both men made the shape of guns with their hands and pointed them at Moran as they drove by.
Brian Collopy was arrested shortly afterwards but Vincent Collopy fled the country. It is believed Vincent Collopy first fled to Spain before travelling across Europe.
He has since enjoyed visits from several family members after fleeing Limerick.
Last summer, he uploaded photos of himself and his mother, Bernie, at a McDonald's restaurant on to Facebook. His brother Raymond -- also known as Jethro -- spent time abroad with him earlier this year.
Raymond Collopy (46), who is a former European champion pike fisherman, is pictured fishing on holidays with Vincent Collopy.
Raymond has a number of previous convictions, including making a threat to a Moyross woman that her husband would be killed and also of threatening the husband that his mother would be harmed or killed.
Last January, Vincent Collopy narrowly avoided arrest in Manchester.
It is understood he has been, in recent months, predominantly based in eastern Europe.
He was arrested in Prague in the Czech Republic earlier this month but was released without charge.
Vincent and Jonathan Collopy were jailed for three years each in 2006 after they were caught selling cocaine and heroin to undercover gardai from a house in St Mary's Park in 2004.
The garda investigation, codenamed 'Clean Streets', was initiated after officers became concerned at the level of drugs on sale in the city.