Woman heard John Dundon ‘organise botched murder’

Court told of panic after Shane Geoghegan was killed in case of mistaken identity

A file photograph of  John Dundon, Hyde Road,  Limerick, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Shane Geoghegan in  Dooradoyle on November 9th, 2008.

A file photograph of John Dundon, Hyde Road, Limerick, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Shane Geoghegan in Dooradoyle on November 9th, 2008.

 

A Limerick woman has told the Special Criminal Court that she heard John Dundon organise a botched murder in which rugby player Shane Geoghegan was gunned down after he was mistaken for another man.

April Collins, a 26-year-old mother of three, said she was in her home on the night before Mr Geoghegan was shot dead and heard how murder accused John Dundon ordered two men to kill a man called John McNamara.

She said she was in the house with two of her children and her partner Ger Dundon, his brother John, two other Limerick men Nathan Killeen and Mikey Casey, and Dubliner Barry Doyle.

Ms Collins told the court that John Dundon began to brief the other men on the movements of the intended target John McNamara. John Dundon was describing McNamara’s physical appearance to Barry Doyle and also outlining his personal routine.

“He was telling him about his comings and goings,” she said. “[John] said he had a gun in the car, that everything was sorted and that it just needed to be done.”

Ms Collins said that, at that point, Killeen told John Dundon “you have nothing sorted”. But John Dundon then addressed Doyle saying: “The gun is there, you kill him. And then he says to Nathan and Mikey ‘and one of you is driving and that’s that’.”

John Dundon of Hyde Road in Limerick city has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick on November 9th, 2008.

The prosecution alleges that the 28-year-old was the unintended victim of a shooting meant for another man, who lived near the deceased. It alleges that Mr Dundon ordered the killing of the actual target John McNamara.

Ms Collins told the court she grew up in Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, and had lived there all her life. She met Ger Dundon when she was 15 and began dating him when she was 16. They had a 10-year relationship and lived in a house on Hyde Road.

She told the court she believed one of her former partner’s brothers - John, Kenny or Wayne - owned the house but she could not be sure.

While still in the now ended relationship, Ms Collins and Ger Dundon had three sons who are now aged 10, 7 and 4. Ger Dundon is currently in prison and has been for the past three years.

Ms Collins told the court, sitting in Dublin, that on the night of November 7th, 2008 when she heard the conspiracy plan to kill John McNamara being discussed, she later went with her partner at the time Ger Dundon and two their children to stay in the Hilton Hotel in Limerick.

They stayed in the hotel overnight and returned to their home on Hyde Road the next morning. “We did routine things like bring the kids to school,” she said.

After spending the day at home they went back to the Hilton Hotel to stay there again on the evening on November 8th. It was just into the early hours of November 9th that Shane Geoghegan was gunned down.

Ms Collins told the court that early on the morning of November 9th, at between 6.30am and 7am - just hours after the murder - she drove from the hotel in her car carrying her then partner Ger and their two children.

They went to the car park of a business in Limerick described in court as “Finnegan’s Pub”. When they arrived she said Barry Doyle and John Dundon were already there, sitting in a VW Passat driven by Doyle. The cars pulled right alongside each other and occupants began a conversation.

“John was very excited in himself he said ‘John Mac is dead we got him, I’m going to ring Phillip Collopy now and slag him’.”

However, she said the mood of excitement soon changed to panic and anger when Collopy informed John Dundon during the telephone call that they had not killed John McNamara but had shot dead the wrong man.

“John started panicking. He was giving out to Barry because Collopy was telling him it was the wrong man.”

She said Doyle became scared as John Dundon lost control and started “roaring and screaming”. Ms Collins added that initially Doyle insisted he had not targeted the wrong man.

“He was saying ‘it is him, the way you described him; it’s him’.”

She said John Dundon then suggested to his brother Ger that they should go away for a week. She told the court that at that point her then partner Ger got out of the car she was driving, got into the vehicle carrying John Dundon and Barry Doyle and that all three drove away.

The court heard evidence that April Collins had first met Barry Doyle in Spain, when she had stayed there for three months in an apartment organised by her then partner Ger.

The court also heard evidence that Doyle, a Dubliner, spent a period living with Ger Dundon, April Collins and their three children in their home on Hyde Road.

The defence is due to cross examine Ms Collins tomorrow and the trial is expected to conclude next week.