Friday 20 September 2019

'I’m sure God rolled out the red carpet for her' - tributes to innocent gangland victim Roy Collins' mum Carmel at funeral

Steve and Carmel Collins. Picture: Frank McGrath
Steve and Carmel Collins. Picture: Frank McGrath
The funeral of Carmel Collins, wife of Steve and mother of murdered Roy, took place this Wednesday morning in St. Johns Cathedral, Limerick Photograph: Press 22

David Raleigh

Carmel Collins and her family faced down violence and intimidation from gangland thugs who murdered her innocent son Roy, so that other families would not have to suffer a similar hell, her funeral mass heard today.

The Collins family faced prolonged threats from the notorious Dundon criminal gang, after members of the family testified in a criminal trial against the gang’s leader Wayne Dundon.

As retribution, Carmel’s 35-year old son, Roy, a father of two, was gunned down in his arcade business in Roxboro this month ten years ago, by members of the Dundon criminal gang.

Subsequently, Wayne Dundon of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, was jailed for life for ordering the murder. The gunman, James Dillon, of no fixed abode, also received a life sentence, as did his getaway driver Nathan Killeen, of Hyde Road, Prospect.

The funeral of Carmel Collins, wife of Steve and mother of murdered Roy, took place this Wednesday morning in St. Johns Cathedral, Limerick
Photograph: Press 22
The funeral of Carmel Collins, wife of Steve and mother of murdered Roy, took place this Wednesday morning in St. Johns Cathedral, Limerick Photograph: Press 22

Ms 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 now out of her pain and suffering” and “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 lady” and “a woman of decency and respect”.

Continuing the poignant love letter to “my beautiful wife”, he said the “pain” of losing Roy “and the stress that came with it” had “taken our beautiful lady”.

Carmel was their “rock”, he added.

The family were relocated abroad in a garda witness protection programme following Roy’s killing, but have since returned to Limerick city.

“This illness has taken away our wonderful lady. She did everything she could to stay with us, but god wanted her to be safe and to keep us safe. She’ll never been forgotten,” Mr Collins added.

He said Carmel had “left (her) mark on this earth, as a wife, as a mother, and as a friend”.

“She always had a love of family and great neighbours and a great community.”

Speaking a few feet from his beloved wife’s coffin ordained with lily flowers beside her photograph, Mr Collins spoke of his wife’s dedication to her faith, and her love for St John’s Cathedral, where they had been married over 40 years previously.

“I’m sure God has rolled out the red carpet for her in recognition of her deep faith,” he said.

Their children and grandchildren “brought her love and happiness, something I thought would never come back to her after Roy’s death.”

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