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State 'had role in rise of gangs' -- TV claim

THE State faciliated gangland crime in Limerick by a using the services of a notorious local criminal -- who ran protection rackets -- a TV documentary will claim tonight.

That's the shocking claim made in the final episode of Paul Williams' Bad Fellas.

The show charts the rise of organised crime in the city, and focuses on gang boss Wayne Dundon.

The documentary will show how gangs are running the city through intimidation and fear -- and have been since the State hired an infamous local criminal Mickey Kelly to control security on State property.

Fine Gael TD Michael Noonan tells Williams: "Mickey Kelly was running protection rackets and agents of the State were hiring him and paying him to continue with protection rackets.

"When Mickey Kelly protected your factory he didn't assign security guards to it he just put the word out and put signs up that these premises were protected by Mickey Kelly. It was a protection racket and the State should not have been involved."

The show also documents the bloody rise of the McCarthy-Dundon gang.

The show, on RTE One at 9.30pm, includes a heartbreaking accounts from Steve Collins, whose son Roy was murdered by the gang.