Limerick biker jailed for life for murdering gang rival

Alan McNamara shot dead Andrew O’Donoghue outside Road Tramps motorcycle club

Alan McNamara (50), of Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick who has been sentenced to life imprisonment  for murdering a member of a rival motorcycle club. Photograph: Collins Courts

Alan McNamara (50), of Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a member of a rival motorcycle club. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Limerick biker was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a member of a rival motorcycle club in a territorial dispute.

Alan ‘Cookie’ McNamara, a 51-year-old from Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick was found guilty last July of the murder of Andrew ‘AOD’ O’Donoghue at the gates of the Road Tramps motorcycle club at Mountfune on June 20th, 2015.

McNamara’s stepson Robert Cusack (28) of Abington, Murroe, who pleaded guilty to impeding his stepfather’s apprehension, was sentenced to six years in prison with 18 months suspended.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney SC read out a statement written by members of the deceased man’s family. They said he had developed a love of bikes in the 1980s and was a founder member of the Road Tramps.

He met his life-long partner Kate around this time and together they moved to New York where they had a daughter and a “wonderful life”. In 2002 they returned to Ireland and Mr O’Donoghue rejoined his old friends in the motorcycle club.

His last words to his wife and child were: “I’ll be back soon.”

The statement concluded: “He is our hero and he will never be forgotten.”

McNamara also wrote a letter to the court in which he said he was “truly sorry” for bringing so much sadness to his victim’s family and his own. “I’m sorry Andrew died,” he said. “I will regret this for the rest of my life.”

Sergeant Ted Riordan told the court McNamara had been a Road Tramp some years earlier but left and in 2015 joined the Caballeros.

There was tension between the two clubs and in June 2015 tensions flared when McNamara was seen in a pub in an area considered to be Road Tramps’ territory. Three members of the Road Tramps confronted McNamara, punching him and taking the waistcoat with a Caballeros patch sewn into it.

When interviewed by gardaí, McNamara claimed three Road Tramps later pulled up to his house in a car and, in front of his wife and children, threatened to kill him and burn down his home. He said he was terrified.

The following day McNamara received a phone call from Cusack, who told him he was in a car with two other Caballeros following a member of the Road Tramps, later identified as Seamus Duggan, along the rural roads near Mountfune.

The pursuit started in Doon with the cars reaching speeds of 160km/h.

Duggan was driving towards the Road Tramps clubhouse where other members of the club were planning to let him in the gates and then close them against his pursuers.

McNamara loaded a shotgun, got in his car and drove to the nearby Road Tramps’ clubhouse. He later told gardaí he thought Mr O’Donoghue was holding a gun, so he shot him.

Sgt Riordan agreedhe could then be seen on CCTV trying to reload the gun before his stepson and others pulled up.

Sgt Riordan agreed that following the shooting Cusack told gardaí he took the gun from his stepfather and traveled to his mother’s house, wrapped the gun in black plastic and concealed it in some pine trees.

McNamara had 11 previous convictions. One was for assault, for which he received a three month prison sentence. He was also convicted under sections 3 and 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act at Limerick District Court for which he was given a six-month suspended sentence. His other convictions were for road traffic offences.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott imposed the mandatory life sentence on McNamara, backdating it to December 1st, 2015.