Dead Man Talking
How one man brought down the Limerick mob
The true story of how one man took on Limerick’s most feared gang – and won
For over a decade the McCarthy/Dundon gang has been a blight on Limerick. From drug dealing and armed robbery to abduction, torture and murder, they have demonstrated a merciless thirst for power and money.
In 2009 Mark Heffernan and his family were subjected to a sustained campaign of threats and intimidation when the McCarthy/Dundons tried to extort money and force Mark to pay an €80,000 debt he didn’t owe. When Mark refused to pay he was told he was a dead man and that his family would be burnt out of Limerick. The situation reached boiling point when Mark was cornered by the armed gang in a cul-de-sac and confronted with an open car boot. A high-speed chase through Limerick ensued as Mark drove over pavements and traffic islands to escape certain death.
Eventually Mark decided enough was enough. He bravely stood up for what he believes in and resolved to testify against the gang in court. Mark’s testimony gave the State enough evidence to put seven members of the McCarthy/Dundons behind bars, including Jimmy Collins, the gang’s recruiter. This gave Limerick some reprieve from the gang warfare that was tearing the city apart.
For two years Mark lived his life in fear of the gang, always looking over his shoulder, always afraid for the safety of his young family. But instead of accepting a place in the witness protection programme, he decided that he would no longer be intimidated. In 2011 Mark set up the charity Changing Lives, which is bringing the youth of Limerick together and uniting them through sport so that another generation is not lost to drugs and violence.
In Dead Man Talking, Mark Heffernan tells the extraordinary story of how he stood up to the McCarthy/Dundons and went on to become a community leader.
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