State warned that Limerick feud case may be in jeopardy

Further two months granted to get directions from DPP in violent disorder case

The State has been warned that charges against five men, who Gardaí allege are "leading" members of a Limerick feud, may be in jeopardy, if DPP directions in the case are not furnished in time.

Charges of violent disorder have been preferred against Joseph Keane, his two cousins Richard Treacy and Owen Treacy Jnr, Erol Ibrahim and Kurt Ryan.

The five men are charged with violent disorder outside the social welfare offices on Dominic Street, Limerick, on April 14th last.

Joseph Keane, 27, of Garryowen House, Greenhills Rd, Garryowen, is the son of Kieran Keane, 36, who was shot dead in January, 2003. Five members of the Dundon McCarthy gang were jailed for life for the murder.


His uncle Christy, 54, is currently recovering in hospital after he was shot by two gunmen last month.

Owen Treacy, 18, of St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, is a son of Owen Treacy Snr who was with his uncle Kieran Keane when he was murdered. Owen Treacy Snr survived after he was stabbed 17 times in the 2003 gangland attack.

Richard Treacy, 27, of Downey Street, Kilalee, is Owen Treacy’s cousin.

The five men, including Erol Ibrahim, 26, Ceol na hAbhann, Caherconlish, and Kurt Ryan, 22, of Cliona Park, Moyross, were refused bail at the District Court, but later achieved High Court bail.

Detective Sergeant Padraig Byrnes, Henry Street garda station, previously told the district court, that opposing feuding factions, including the five men, clashed at around 2.25pm on April 14th last.

During bail applications, the court heard the violent episode spilled out onto the street, causing men, women, and young children, to flee the area in panic.

Det Sgt Byrnes said Dominick Street was “effectively blocked” during the violent meeting of rival factions.

He told the court gardaí believed the fighting was connected with an escalation of tensions between rival factions from Moyross and St Mary’s Park.

He said, in recent months, there have been “green shoots and a reemergence of the feud which dogged the city for years”.

Gardaí told the court at least 18 murders can be directly linked to the feud over the past 14 years, and that gardaí now fear there could be a further loss.

Det Sgt Byrnes alleged each of the five men are “leading” members of feuding gangs.

He said the gangs have access to guns, and are “well financed” through the distribution of drugs.

Det Sgt Byrnes agreed under cross examination that no weapons were used during the April fracas and no one was seriously injured.

However, he disagreed it was not a serious incident.

Last Tuesday solicitors for the five men complained the State had yet to serve books of evidence in the case, and that there were no clear directions yet from the DPP.

Judge Marian O’Leary said she would “consider” making the cases peremptory against the State if DPP directions were not furnished.

She granted the State a further two-months to have directions sought from the DPP.

The five men have been remanded on continuing High Court bail, to appear in court again next September.