Man gets life for Limerick murder

 

One of Limerick’s most notorious gangland criminals has been jailed for life for a contract killing in the city two years ago.

Gary Campion (26), Delmege Park, Moyross, was today sentenced to life at a sitting of the Central Criminal Court in Limerick for the gun murder of Fat Frankie Ryan on September 17th, 2006.

Campion is already serving life for the murder of night club head of security Brian Fitzgerald in November 2002.

Campion had been convicted in May of the Frankie Ryan murder.

At the sentencing hearing this morning Frankie Ryan’s mother, Catherine Ryan, said in her victim impact statement that the day her son was killed would “stick in all our heads forever”.

"Frankie died in the prime of his life, robbed of the chance of having his own family. He would have made a great father. My heart is broken, never to be mended.”

Det Sgt Patrick O’Callaghan told Mr Justice Paul Carney that Campion and his victim were friends.

He said on the night of the killing Ryan was driving around Moyross, Limerick, in his Toyota car. He collected Gary Campion outside the house Campion shared with his partner and twi children.

A third man, Erol Ibrahim (20), was sitting in the front passenger seat. Campion, who was only out of prison three days, sat into the back of the vehicle before it pulled off.

Det Sgt O’Connell said: “They were talking, ‘any girls around’, there was a few comments between them (in the car). It was at that point Gary Campion leaned between the front seats and shot Frankie Ryan in the head.”

Campion made threatening remarks to Mr Ibrahim before fleeing on foot.

Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, described the murder as a “cold, calculated and deliberate gunning down”. It was an “execution style killing”.

Mr Ibrahim was arrested for withholding information but later gave a video taped statement to gardai identifying Campion as the killer. Campion was arrested a week after the murder.

During the 30-day trial earlier this year Mr Ibrahim resiled from his statements, claiming he did not know the man who had shot Frankie Ryan.

However, under new legislation introduced in the Criminal Justice Act 2006, the jury were permitted to see the videoed statements even though Ibrahim was refusing to stand over them in court.

Campion’s 39 previous convictions include one for the murder of Brian Fitzgerald. He was also jailed for two years for threatening to kill a prison officer. Other convictions include obstruction of a garda, drugs offences, possession of a knife, threats to kill and harm, trespass and road traffic offences.