Ex-girlfriend who turned informer on Dundon gang
LESS than a year ago, April Collins narrowly avoided a jail sentence after she received a suspended sentence for witness intimidation.
The conviction was part of a major garda investigation in Limerick that also resulted in lengthy sentences handed down to her former boyfriend Ger Dundon, her father Jimmy and brother Gareth.
Over the past two months, April (24) has been assisting the State with prosecutions in two high-profile trials.
Last month, she testified against Dublin gunman Barry Doyle at the Shane Geoghegan murder trial. Doyle was subsequently found guilty of Geoghegan's murder.
In recent weeks, she provided crucial evidence against Wayne (33) and John (29) Dundon in the Special Criminal Court.
Yesterday, the court found that John Dundon threatened the life of April in Limerick last year while Wayne was convicted of threatening to kill her brothers -- Gareth and Jimmy junior -- at their mother's home in 2010.
Mr Justice Paul Butler told April that her evidence was "credible and convincing".
Her mother Alice also provided evidence against Wayne Dundon.
The trial of the Dundon brothers heard she has charges pending in Limerick District Court for motoring offences and received "no special status" from gardai for her role in the trial.
She and Ger Dundon started going out when she had turned 16 and she soon fell pregnant and moved into his home at 84 Hyde Road. They had their first son when she was 17 and had two more children later. Ger and another criminal, Thomas O'Neill used to hang around together in Limerick. In 2004, O'Neill led four other men in a horrific gang rape of a young woman in Cratloe Woods, Co Clare, and was subsequently jailed for 10 years. In the intervening years, April and Ger moved between Limerick and London.
A statement from John Dundon read to the court recalled how Ger "slapped the head off her and f***ed her out of the house" after John caught April smoking crack in London in 2009.
John also told gardai that Ger Dundon "was riding Mary Kirby behind her (April's) back". Mary Kirby and April were close friends.
Ger and April's father and her brother Gareth were all arrested in 2010 and jailed for their roles in an attempt to extort money. April ended her relationship with Ger. Last year, she started going out with convicted rapist Thomas O'Neill. She is expecting her fourth child in May with O'Neill. The couple live in Limerick.