A LANDSCAPE gardener who was found with a longbow and arrows in a Dublin park claimed he had just bought it and was planning to join an archery club.
Julian Lawlor (40) denied possession of a dangerous weapon, saying he had the bow and nine arrows for a recreational purpose.
He said he was involved in an archery club while in college in England and he wanted to get involved in the sport here in Ireland. He paid nearly €200 for the bow and arrows.
Judge James McDonnell said people are entitled to engage in the sport of archery but it is normally done on private premises.
The judge found Lawlor guilty of having a dangerous weapon. He ordered a probation report and adjourned the matter to a date in December.
The defendant, of The Walk, Millbrook Lawns in Tallaght, denied possession of a bow and arrow at Dodder Valley Park in Firhouse on July 27 last.
Garda Gary Duffy said he was on mobile patrol when he was flagged down by an elderly lady who claimed a man was using a bow and arrow in the park.
Gda Duffy said he went into the park and found Lawlor sitting on a bench.
The bow and arrow was at his side.
The garda said a number of people were in the park at the time, including a man who was playing golf.
The court heard Lawlor was asked if he was a member of any club, and he claimed he was a member of Tymon North Archery Club.
Gda Duffy said he checked with the Irish Amateur Archery Association, and no such club exists.
In his evidence, Lawlor said he bought the bow and arrows because he hoped to take lessons and join an archery club.
He claimed that when he bought the bow and arrows he was told he didn't need a licence for it.
The court heard that Lawlor is a specialist in forestry and, most recently, worked as a landscape gardener.
He is currently a carer for his young niece.