Court hears man was shot due to Limerick biker dispute

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A jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard a territorial dispute between rival motorcycle clubs in Limerick led to a man being shot at point blank range with a shotgun.

Alan McNamara, 50, from Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 51-year-old Andrew O’Donoghue on 20 June 2015.

His stepson Robert Cusack, 28, from Abbington, Murroe, has pleaded not guilty to assisting an offender.

In his opening statement to the jury, prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney told the jury the killing of Mr O’Donoghue was linked to some form of territorial dispute between rival motorcycle clubs.

The victim of the shooting was a member and treasurer of the Road Tramps club which drew membership from the Limerick area.

Mr McNamara was a former member of the same club but had left and joined a rival club, the Caballeros, which was originally based in Tipperary but had moved to Limerick city.

The jury was told the day before the shooting Mr McNamara had gone to a pub in Doon, Co Limerick wearing the "colours" of his club, the Caballeros.

This would have been seen as a provocative act and word got around quickly.

As he left the pub with his wife he was set upon by three men and his jacket bearing the colours was forcibly removed from him.

Mr Delaney said Mr McNamara was very vexed by this as to remove someone's colours was a huge insult to the person and their club.

He said this incident formed an important back drop to events the following day.

On 20 June a member of the Road Tramps club found himself being followed by three men and a 23km road chase ensued.

The man had called other club members for help and it was decided he should drive to the Road Tramps club at Murroe and the gates would be opened for him.

Before they got there the gates had been opened and Mr McNamara arrived in his own car and approached the gates.

The prosecution says Mr O’Donoghue tried to close the gates but was shot at point blank range by Mr McNamara with a sawn-off shotgun.

Mr Delaney said the accused man tried to reload the gun but had difficulty doing so and in the meantime another club member closed the gates.

Mr O’Donoghue lay inside the gates fatally wounded and Mr McNamara was kept outside.

The car carrying the three men involved in the car chase then passed by and the gun was handed in to Mr Cusack and was later found concealed at the back of Mr McNamara's house, Mr Delaney said.

The jury was told that after his arrest Mr McNamara told gardaí the night before the shooting members of the Road Tramps club had come to his home brandishing firearms and threatening him and his family.

Mr Delaney said it was clear Mr McNamara was incensed by what had happened.

Whether or not he shot Mr O’Donoghue because he was the first member of the Road Tramps he came across that day they could not say for sure.

However, he said the prosecution says it was a deliberate act carried out without justification.

The trial continues.

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