The reporter son of Eddie Boyle from Beefan in Glencolumbkille, Darren Boyle has penned a book about Mark Heffernan, who testified against key figures in the McCarthy/Dundon gang and was labelled a “dead man walking” as a result.
The book “Dead Man Talking” describes how this man almost single handedly brought down the Limerick mob. “The book is about Mark Heffernan who was running a nightclub in Newcastle West, County Limerick when the feared McCarthy-Dundon crime gang tried to extort €80,000 from him. The gang were responsible for the murders of Shane Geoghagan and Roy Collins - who was a close personal friend of Mark. To escape the clutches of the gang Mark had to drive at high speed through Limerick City to escape a kidnap attempt,” Darren said.
The 2010 incident was a high-speed car chase through Limerick as Mr Heffernan was chased in his jeep by a car containing several members of the gang, including Ger Dundon and Gareth Collins. I was trying to lead them on a loop around the outskirts of Limerick, hoping that the gardai would could lay a trap for them, It was a bit of a risk, but I was keeping up a speed of 120 km/h and I didn’t think they could catch me as long as I had fuel. But when I glanced in the rear view mirror, they were closing in on me. I was 100 percent certain now that if this situation continued, I was going to be killed,” an extract of the book reads.
Mark Heffernan decided to testify following the car chase, which ended when he fled for the safety of Roxboro Garda Station.
“The guards asked me to make a formal statement. They said it was only a matter of time before I was killed. They said I could put everything to bed by standing up to the McCarthy/Dundons and that I could actually bring peace to the city. The only reason I wanted to be part of this process was to bring down the gang. I was doing this for my family, the wider community and for victims who had gone before me,” Mr Jefferson said.
Following the launch of the book last Saturday, Darren said that Mark’s story is trully an inspirational one. “Mark really has an inspirational story to tell. It took enormous courage to take a stand against the McCarthy-Dundon crime gang. They have terrorised the people of Limerick for more than a decade. Mark’s evidence was responsible for sending seven of the gang to prison. He was under 24 hour garda protection for almost two years and was offered the chance to leave the country under the witness protection programme. Instead he decided to remain in Limerick because he didn’t want to move away from his family and friends,” Darren said.
Mark has decided to launch his own charity “Changing Lives” to help youngsters in Limerick and steer them away from a life of crime and drugs.