April Collins forever linked to Dundon family
on 14/08/2013 00:00:00
But in Oct 2010, she brought that relationship to the end. Unlike a normal relationship break-up, though, where the two parties go their separate ways, the parting of April Collins and Dundon set in motion a chain of events which put her and her family on a collision course with some of the country's most dangerous men. It did not help that a toxic relationship had already begun to develop between the Collins and Dundon families, thanks to a fight a month earlier in Limerick Prison between April's brother, Gareth Collins, and Nathan Killeen, whose sister was married to John Dundon.
The situation got rapidly out of hand and within weeks the lives of April and her family members were under threat.
April Collins would tell the courts that on Mar 25, Gerard's brother, Wayne, came to her house and demanded an explanation as to why she was not letting her children visit their father in prison.
Less than two weeks later she was watching television when someone began "bating" down the door.
She said she could see the other Dundon brother, John, through the glass panels around the door. He was shouting: "I know you're in there, you tramp, I want to see my nephews; when I get you, I am going to fucking kill you."
At 2am she was awoken by him standing on a shed in her backyard, while another man stood in the garden. When she asked him what he was doing there, he replied: "We're looking for a good place to bury your mother."
While it was a terrifying situation - one that would lead to John Dundon receiving a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence - it must be pointed out that April was not unfamiliar with intimidation herself.
She herself received a suspended sentence after admitting that, in May 2010, she intimidated a woman whose relative was the only witness in a major investigation into organised crime in Limerick. That was a time when she was still in a relationship with Gerard Dundon.
In spite of her own past though, April Collins was determined to see 2008 killers of Garryowen rugby captain Shane Geoghegan brought to justice, even though giving evidence would potentially put her own life in huge danger.
First, her evidence helped to convict the trigger man, Barry Doyle, in Feb 2012. She told the court at his trial how she had heard him being told to kill John McNamara, who lived four doors away from Mr Geoghegan.
Even though it wasn't his trial, she told the court John Dundon gave the order to kill and told Barry Doyle what John McNamara looked like.
Less than a fortnight after her evidence helped to send Barry Doyle down for life, April Collins was back in a courtroom with the Dundons, this time for the intimidation she suffered at the hands of John Dundon. Last month though, despite the intimidation, April Collins did not shy away from making sure he was brought to justice for the Shane Geoghegan killing.
She also admitted her own failings in relation to the killing - she could have saved Shane Geoghegan's life if she had told gardaí of the plans for a murder before the actual shooting took place.