herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Man pleads guilty to possessing gun 'to be used in Hutch mob hit'

Our exclusive pictures show Ciaran Ryan being arrested in possession of a gun at Connolly Station in July
Our exclusive pictures show Ciaran Ryan being arrested in possession of a gun at Connolly Station in July

A 23-year-old man who pleaded guilty to possession of a gun at Connolly Station is suspected of being on his way to deliver the firearm to senior Hutch mob associates in the North when he was busted by gardai.

Ciaran Ryan (23), of Summerhill, Dublin, yesterday admitted at the Special Criminal Court to the possession of a semi-automatic pistol at Connolly Station on July 19 this year.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan, remanded Ryan in custody until December 20, when he will be sentenced.

It is suspected that the handgun was being delivered to a hideout in the North where at least half a dozen Hutch gang associates were hiding out at the time.

These included cartel targets James 'Mago' Gately, Keith Murtagh and a young criminal who is suspected of involvement in the Regency Hotel attack last year.

The young criminal has since been extradited back to the Republic and is in custody here awaiting sentence for serious criminal charges.

It is understood that Gately and Murtagh have been spending time in England in recent months.

One theory which was investigated by gardai is that the weapon was to be used in an attempted hit on Kinahan cartel figure Gareth Chubb (29) from Drimnagh, who had been based in Belfast at the time.

Just days after gardai arrested Ryan at Connolly Station, Chubb was cleared by a Dutch court of the attempted manslaughter of a drug dealer who tried to sell him baking soda.

Loaded

However, Chubb was jailed for six months for possession of a loaded gun he pulled out at an Amsterdam cafe earlier in the incident last February.

Ryan is a close pal of slain Gary Hutch's cousin Eddie Staunton, who survived a murder attempt in March.

At a previous court sitting when Ryan was refused bail, Detective Garda Gary Wood told the court the 23-year-old man had links to Spain, Holland and worldwide and that he was a flight risk. He made no reply when charged.

He was also caught with two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and one shotgun cartridge.

The minimum jail sentence for the possession of a firearm is five years in jail except in special circumstances including a guilty plea, while the maximum sentence is 14 years.

In the aftermath of Ryan's arrest, the Herald obtained exclusive photographs of the moment that Ryan was taken down by armed detectives in Ireland's busiest train station.

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