A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Limerick man Roy Collins just over a year ago.

In a victim impact statement to the Central Criminal Court, Roy Collins' father, Stephen, said his other children were now terrified of what could happen to them.

Stephen Collins, spoke after the sentencing

James Dillon, of no fixed abode but originally from the southside of Limerick city, pleaded guilty to the murder just before his trial was due to start yesterday.

The Central Criminal Court heard the motive for Roy Collins' murder went back to 2004, when a member of the Limerick McCarthy-Dundon gang was refused entry to one of Stephen Collins' pubs for being underage.

Wayne Dundon was later convicted of threatening to kill the family member who had refused his sister entry.

Since then, Stephen Collins had received an armed garda escort to and from his work place.

On 9 April 2009 James Dillon and another man went to the pub and amusement arcade run by the Collins family in the Roxboro Shopping Centre.

The court heard Dillon fired one shot at Roy Collins before escaping in a Mercedes which had been stolen in Dublin ten days previously.

He was later found hiding under a bunk bed in a house in the Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick.

After 26 garda interviews, and a visit from his grandfather, Dillon admitted that he shot the father of two.

In his victim impact statement, Stephen Collins said his other children were living in fear, all because the family did the right thing.

He said evil had come into their lives on 9 April in a cowardly, unforgivable act.