Thursday 18 July 2019

Notorious killer found 'unresponsive' in his prison cell

Gary Campion was convicted of two gangland murders. Photo: Press 22
Gary Campion was convicted of two gangland murders. Photo: Press 22

David Raleigh

A notorious killer is fighting for life in hospital after he was found "unresponsive" in his cell at Mountjoy Prison following a suspected drugs overdose.

Gary Campion (32), from Moyross in Limerick, is serving two life sentences for the 2002 murder of innocent night club security doorman Brian Fitzgerald, and the 2006 gangland murder of "Fat Frankie" Ryan.

Campion was rushed by ambulance to the Mater Hospital from his cell at Mountjoy yesterday morning.

A garda probe and a prison investigation will be launched into the circumstances that led to Campion falling ill.

However, sources said that it was believed he had taken a drugs overdose.

Campion was caught with 73 bags of heroin in his cell at Limerick Prison nine years ago.

"We believe he received a package earlier in the week, possibly Tuesday, on a visit. It was either hidden about his person or he ingested it internally," the source said yesterday.

"He could have used (the drugs) or a bag may have burst inside him. We won't know the exact details until a report is prepared."

The source revealed Campion, who has more than 40 previous convictions, was being held in a "close supervision cell".

Campion, who became the first person in Ireland to be convicted of two gangland murders in the State, was last night in a critical condition in hospital.

Until his incarceration for murder, Campion was a hired hitman for feuding criminal gangs in Limerick.

He was found guilty of murdering Brian Fitzgerald on November 15, 2007, and he received another life sentence on May 28, 2009, for the murder of Frank Ryan.

He began an appeal against both convictions last year.

Mr Fitzgerald (34) was shot dead outside his home at Brookhaven Walk, Corbally, on November 29, 2002, after finishing his shift at Docs nightclub.

He was gunned down on the orders of the Dundon mob after refusing to allow the gang sell drugs in the club.

Campion was convicted largely on the evidence of James Martin Cahill, who shot Mr Fitzgerald.

Cahill admitted pulling the trigger and testified that Campion was the driver.

Campion also murdered his former associate Frank Ryan while they both sat in a car in Moyross on September 16, 2006.

Irish Independent

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