Mourners bid farewell to mother who 'took stand' against gang who killed son
Carmel Collins and her family stood up to intimidation from the gangland thugs who murdered her son Roy so other families would not have to suffer a similar hell, her funeral Mass was told.
The Collins family faced prolonged threats after members of the family testified in a criminal trial against gang leader Wayne Dundon. As retribution, Carmel's son Roy (35) was shot dead in his arcade business in Roxboro, Limerick, 10 years ago by members of the Dundon criminal gang.
Dundon was jailed for life for ordering the murder, while gunman James Dillon and getaway driver Nathan Killeen were also convicted.
Mrs Collins, aged in her 60s, passed away peacefully at Milford Hospice last Sunday, following a battle with cancer.
In a loving tribute, her husband Steve told mourners Carmel was "on her way" to meet their "beautiful son Roy".
"We went though some very hard times when we lost our son Roy, and I never thought I'd have to go through that heartache again," he said.
Mr Collins, applauded by the congregation at St John's Cathedral, thanked people for their continued support and "wonderful comments about Carmel", describing her as a woman of "decency and respect".
The family were relocated abroad in a Garda witness protection programme following Roy's killing, but have since returned to Limerick city. Mr Collins said his wife had "left [her] mark on this Earth as a wife, as a mother and as a friend".
Very Reverend Fr Frank O'Connor addressed Mr Collins: "Steve, when you and Carmel were faced with intimidation and violence, not once but several times, especially in Roy's death, you could have done nothing, you could have allowed fear to keep you silent but you didn't. At great risk and huge cost, [you] led thousands of us Limerick people onto the streets and took a stand."
Mrs Collins is survived by her husband Steve, sons Paul, Steven Jnr and Ryan and daughter Leanne.