herald

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Gagging order bans naming of pair denied bail over gun on train

Undercover gardai pin a suspect to the ground at Connolly Station
Undercover gardai pin a suspect to the ground at Connolly Station

A judge has banned the media from naming a man and woman arrested following the handover of a loaded gun on a Dublin to Belfast train.

Judge Gerard Jones imposed the gagging order preventing the identification of the pair for their own safety after being told they were involved in an ongoing criminal feud inside and outside Ireland.

The mother-of-one (20) is alleged to have handed over a bag containing a loaded semi- automatic pistol to the man (23), who was later arrested on the train.

Dublin District Court heard he allegedly tried to kick the bag under a chair when gardai confronted him, while the woman was later arrested at Dublin Airport in what detectives believed was an attempt to flee the country.

Risks

Judge Jones refused to grant them bail and remanded them in custody to next week.

He banned the media from naming either accused after their lawyers said there were concerns for their safety.

The pair, from the north inner city, are both charged with three firearms offences - unlawful possession of a CZ model semi-automatic pistol with two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and one shotgun cartridge.

The offences are alleged to have happened at Connolly Station on Wednesday.

Gardai alleged both defendants were caught red-handed and were flight risks if granted bail.

Det Gda Marguerite Reilly said the arrests arose from an intelligence-led operation by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) targeting an organised criminal group within and outside the jurisdiction.

It was alleged that the woman was seen handing over a bag containing the loaded firearm and ammunition. She was later apprehended by gardai at Terminal One at Dublin Airport.

She had her passport and a travel bag with her.

Det Gda Reilly said the woman had strong links outside the jurisdiction.

The woman's solicitor, Eoin Lysaght, said his client was outside the terminal and was waiting for a bus to Galway.

She had no aeroplane tickets and had her passport because she looked so young she would not have been able to buy cigarettes.

Mr Lysaght said the woman denied any knowledge of the items in the bag and box.

Det Gda Gary Wood said it was alleged that the man was seen taking possession of the bag with the firearm and conveying it on to a Belfast-bound train.

It was alleged he had links to an organised criminal group with strong connections in Spain, the Netherlands and other countries.

Applying for bail, his solicitor Miska Hanahoe said he enjoyed a presumption of innocence.

"I don't know any more serious offence than someone caught red-handed with a loaded gun on a train bound for Belfast," Judge Jones said.

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