When the Dundons arrived in Limerick from England, they brought with them a vile pestilence that infected our town for years. I don’t know what precisely was wrong with that family, but I can guess. After all, we know for instance that their father, Ken Dundon, brought 12-year-old Wayne to witness a brutal killing.
Nobody knows how Ken Dundon became Satan. He was from a decent, hardworking family, but he was a thug, and he married Anne “Doll” McCarthy, daughter of John the man. Annie was the grand-daughter of Bridgie McCarthy, a nice old lady who described herself as a tinker woman.
Many Limerick people remember Bridgie with affection as a regular in Joe Malone’s pub. She was a tough old lady who looked like Sitting Bull, but she had a sense of decency and everyone in Limerick respected her. Many also remember that travellers were barred from Joe Malone’s, but not by the proprietor. Bridgie the matriarch insisted that no members of her family should ever be served in the pub, in case they caused trouble, as they were inclined to do, and the matriarch’s word was law. Every night, Bridgie’s son, John the Man, turned up with a van to collect his mother. John peeled off however much he owed from a fat roll of notes and took the old lady home.
Anne Doll and Ken DUndon moved to London, they had six kids and Annie became a junkie. She made the mistake of having an affair, and Ken brought his eldest son, Wayne with him to witness the brutal killing of his rival. Wayne was twelve years old.
You get the idea.
This crowd arrived back in Limerick about fifteen years ago and imposed themselves on the local scumbags who had never seen such ferocity in their lives. They seemed to be without sympathy, without remorse, without mercy, and they forced the local thugs to do things they had never dreamed of doing, even by the brutal standards of their ignorant upbringing.
Sadly, such stories are the life and soul of cynical reporters, who jumped all over the Limerick stereotype, and to be clear about that, it wasn’t only the Dublin media who were culpable. All the other local hacks gleefully bought into the lazy, work-saving narrative they found dumped in their laps. And so it happened that those who reported for the Examiner, the Independent, the Star, the Mirror and, disgracefully, the Limerick Leader, recycled every stupid criminal-related rumour that came their way because it was easier than working.
And of course, RTE lapped it up, as did the likes of Paul Williams, a man who wouldn’t know a serious criminal investigation if it shot him between the eyes.
It was a PR disaster for Limerick, a town of decent, creative people and it infected our lives for at least a decade and a half, thanks to the ignorance of the reporters who kept pushing it, including those from RTE and from local papers such as the Limerick Leader. Nobody is guilt-free in this cynical narrative.
We marched against the bastards but it made no difference to the local and national hacks.
Thankfully, Wayne Dundon and the deranged young killer, Nathan Killeen, have now both received life sentences for the murder of Roy Collins, but we in Limerick are faced with a challenge we didn’t either create or deserve.
For the sake of our children, we have had to throw off an unfair image created to a large extent by incompetent and unprincipled journalists, many of whom come from within our own community. Bad, cynical journalists who used the McCarthy-Dundon story as a stepping stone to personal advancement without regard to the consequences for their friends and families.
Shame on them.
As for the McCarthy-Dundons, I feel certain that their great-grandmother would be ashamed of them too.