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Thursday 22 August 2019

'We are trying to rebuild our lives' - father of murdered Roy Collins on returning to Limerick

  • Steve Collins: 'We always wanted to be in Limerick. We sacrificed a lot for this city...'
  • Family optimistic about their new business venture in their native city
Steve Collins pictured at his home in Limerick in 2009 with a picture of son Roy
Steve Collins pictured at his home in Limerick in 2009 with a picture of son Roy
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

The father of murdered Roy Collins said it was "tough" to leave their beloved Limerick - and the family are optimistic about their move home to the city.

Speaking on the 10-year anniversary of his son, Steve said the family will always be "haunted" by his murder.

Mr Collins and his family were placed in a witness protection programme abroad after he testified against members of the Dundon McCarthy criminal gang who murdered Roy in 2009.

Roy Collins was found crouching down in the casino he owned next to his father's pub, The Steering Wheel, at the Roxboro Shopping Centre in Limerick shortly after 12pm on April 9, 2009.

Steve then bravely led the fight against gangland criminals in Limerick following his son's killing.

"It's been tough every year, it never leaves you, we'll always be haunted by it," Steve told RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"It's something you never expect to happen, and the horrific way it happened, it's a loss you will never get over.

"Nobody ever gets over losing a child, no matter what age they are. We are happy to be moving home now."

Steve Collins said the people of Limerick always supported his family in their campaign for justice.

"Limerick is different place now, we've noticed it. Things have changed. There is investment in the city.

"Back in the day in 2009 when all this was going on, or before it, anyone trying to come in and invest just googled it and saw the mayhem going on in such a small city."

Mr Collins is optimistic about the family's new business venture in their native Limerick city, but acknowledged the stress of the last decade has put a burden on their health.

"It was a big cost to us," he said.

"We had to rebuild our lives. It was tough to stay away. We always wanted to come back.

"We always wanted to be in Limerick. We sacrificed a lot for this city and people should never forget that."

He continued; "Limerick is a safe place now. It took what we did. It took people to stand up and say 'we're sick of this'.

"It took all of that. I'm just so happy it did happen. All these laws that have changed, thje surveillance law and the non-jury courts, it didn't just help Limerick, it helped the whole country."

Now Mr Collins and his son Steve Jr are rebuilding their families' lives with their new business, The Number 3 pub.

"We are trying to rebuild our lives. We were comfortable and then we were destroyed and devastated. Now this is a rebuilding thing."

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