No foul play suspected in death of Limerick gangland killer David Stanners

David 'Frog Eyes' Stanners died in jail in the early hours of this morning.

ONE of Limerick’s most notorious killers, David ‘Frogs Eyes’ Stanners, died in jail in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).

Stanners (51), who was aligned to the Dundon McCarthy crime network, was convicted along with four others in December 2003 of the murder of Limerick crime boss Kieran Keane, on January 29, 2003.

The five gang members were also convicted of the attempted murder of Keane’s nephew, Owen Treacy, on the same date.

Keane, who was tortured with a steel bar, had his hands tied behind his back before he was shot in the head. Mr Treacy was stabbed 17 times but survived.

It was one of 19 murders in a long-running feud between rival criminals in Limerick and is known as one of the most violent murders in the history of the State.

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Stanners, of Pineview Gardens, Moyross, was found unresponsive in his cell on the D3 landing of Mountjoy Prison in the early hours of this morning, where he was serving his life sentence.

Sources said foul play was “not suspected” in Stanners’ death.

“There were no signs of anything violent occurring in relation to his death, and there is nothing to suggest anything that looks sinister,” said a reliable source.

Stanners was one of five Dundon McCarthy mob members who kidnapped Limerick gang boss Kieran Keane and his nephew Owen Treacy, murdering Keane and stabbing Mr Treacy multiple times and leaving him for dead on January 29, 2003.

Keane and Treacy were initially held by the gang at one of the gang’s houses in order to lure Keane‘s associates, brothers Philip and Kieran Collopy, from St Mary’s Park to murder them.

Stanners and his four associates were convicted on Mr Treacy’s testimony that all five accused acted as part of a joint enterprise and, as such, were all involved in the abduction, the murder of his uncle, and his attempted murder.

Stanners and the four others, Desmond Dundon (Hyde Road), James McCarthy (Delmege Park, Moyross), Christopher ‘Smokie’ Costelloe (Moylish Avenue, Ballynanty Beg), and Anthony “Noddy” McCarthy (Fairgreen, Garryowen), each denied having anything to do with it.

A jury at the Central Criminal Court found all five accused guilty of the murder of Keane and the attempted murder of Mr Treacy, and five defendants were each given mandatory life sentences.

A Garda spokesman this morning said Gardaí at Mountjoy were notified “after a male inmate was discovered deceased at Mountjoy Prison, Dublin 7, in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 26th October 2023”.

“A post-mortem is expected to take place on the body of the deceased, the results of which will determine the course of the investigation,” said the Garda spokesman, adding that the coroner has been notified.

When contacted, the Irish Prison Service confirmed that “there was a death of a person in custody at Mountjoy Prison” and “the next of kin have been notified”.

“This death in custody will be investigated by the Irish Prison Service, the Inspector of Prisons, and An Garda Síochána, where circumstances warrant, and the cause of death is determined by the Coroner’s Office,” it added.