herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Judge refuses to lift gag order in gun on train case

Gardai pin a suspect to the ground at Connolly Station.
Gardai pin a suspect to the ground at Connolly Station.

A court has upheld a gagging order banning the media from identifying a man accused of transporting a loaded gun on a Dublin to Belfast train.

The man (23), suspected of being linked to a crime feud, will enjoy anonymity in the courts indefinitely after a judge refused to lift the ban.

Gardai did not object to the continuation of the ban.

Judge Victor Blake told Cloverhill District Court the reporting restriction ordered last Friday by Judge Gerard Jones would continue.

Judge Jones had imposed the order at the request of the defence, who cited "safety concerns" for the accused after he was arrested.

Judge Blake adjourned the case to a date next month for the DPP's directions.

Ammunition

The identity of a co-accused woman, who is alleged to have passed the suspect the gun and ammunition in a bag, is also banned from publication. However, her case is not due back before the courts until Friday.

The man is alleged to have brought a gun and ammunition onto the train at Connolly Station after it was allegedly handed over by the woman (20) on July 19.

The two accused, from the north-inner city, are each 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.

Judge Jones refused to grant them bail at Dublin District Court last Friday.

When the man's case was called yesterday, defence solicitor Danica Kinane asked Judge Blake to confirm "from the outset" that the order on reporting restrictions remained in effect.

"I note what you are saying, Ms Kinane, but it is not specifically noted on the charge sheets," the judge said.

Ms Kinane said Judge Jones had ordered that, although the bail hearing could be reported on, the accused should not be named.

Garda Gary Dunne of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) said there was no garda objection.

Judge Blake said if Judge Jones did make that specific order, it should continue.

The accused, who is on free legal aid, sat smiling in the dock as his case was being dealt with. He was remanded in custody.

Previously, solicitors had asked for the reporting restrictions at Dublin District Court.

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

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