Roy Collins was shot dead in this town last week for one reason only: he was related to somebody who gave evidence against a criminal four years ago.
He was murdered in order to send out a message to the entire country: don’t fuck with us.
This message was not just aimed at the average citizen who might have witnessed a crime, though it will certainly deter people from giving evidence in future. But it’s also aimed at the police: it tells them this gang are not afraid of them, and will kill anyone, with no compunction. The criminals know where the police live, where their children attend school and where their spouses work. Don’t underestimate this. Police are only human.
The murder of Roy Collins was a direct challenge to the authority of this State, and in response to it, we had government ministers announcing cosmetic legislative changes. Long after the murder of Shane Geoghegan, they still haven’t managed to get the covert surveillance laws on the books.
Unfortunately, the government seem to be misjudging the organised crime threat as badly as they misjudged the state of the economy.