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'I need passport to get into nightclubs' - teen charged over gun find

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Tia Byrne is accused of two offences under the Firearms Act over a gun and bullets allegedly seized at her home last year

Tia Byrne is accused of two offences under the Firearms Act over a gun and bullets allegedly seized at her home last year

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Tia Byrne is accused of two offences under the Firearms Act over a gun and bullets allegedly seized at her home last year

A young woman has been accused of possessing a Smith & Wesson revolver and five rounds of ammunition at her home when she was just 17.

Tia Byrne (now 18), of Sheriff Street Lower, Dublin, begged a court not to force her to surrender her passport, which she needed as ID to get into nightclubs.

She was charged yesterday at Store Street Garda Station.

She was accused of two offences under the Firearms Act for unlawful possession of a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson air-weight special revolver and five rounds of .38 special calibre Sellier and Bellot ammunition.

The gun and bullets were allegedly seized at her home address on February 18 last year.

Ms Byrne, who works part-time, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court yesterday because the alleged offence happened when she was a minor.

However, Judge Brendan Toale heard the woman had reached adulthood.

She spoke briefly during the hearing and said how much she earned. Legal aid was granted.

There has been no indication as to how she intends to plead.

Risk

Garda Sandra Kirwan said the defendant "made no reply to the charges after caution".

There was no objection to bail subject to conditions.

Gda Kirwan asked the judge to order Ms Byrne to surrender her passport, reside at her address and sign on twice weekly at Store Street Garda Station.

She cited the seriousness of the charge and possible flight risk.

The passport was handed over to gardai in court.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said this was the first time Ms Byrne had been in court or on bail.

The defendant also told the court she needed her passport, saying: "I've no ID for when I'm going out."

Ms Finan said the defendant needed the passport "to get into nightclubs".

The garda said it could be given back if the defendant wished to go on holiday.

Judge Toale ordered the passport be handed over to gardai but they would have to facilitate her to obtain alternative photo ID if she needed it.

She must reside at her current address but a signing-on condition was not imposed.

The DPP has directed Ms Byrne, who was accompanied to court by her father, must face trial on indictment. This means the case will be dealt with at Circuit Court level.

She was remanded on €100 bail to appear again in eight weeks, when she will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.