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Firefighter in row battles to get guns back

A FIREFIGHTER has gone to court to get his guns back – after being acquitted of threatening to shoot a colleague.

FORMER soldier Karl Finlay (36) had his firearms and ammunition seized by gardai prior to the trial.

Mr Finlay has now appealed the decisions of Superintendent Peter Duff and Chief Superintendent Brendan Mangan to refuse his applications for gun licences for four firearms.

The case was before Dublin District Court yesterday for hearing, but prior to the hearing his lawyer David Hegarty sought to restrict certain evidence which was previously heard during the Circuit Court trial.

Last October, Mr Finlay was acquitted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of threatening to kill Derek Dowling at Donnybrook Fire Station in Dublin on April 5, 2011.


At his trial, Mr Finlay, a former soldier with the Irish Army, admitted saying to Mr Dowling: "How about I threaten you? How about I shoot you in the head?" but said he meant this as a hypothetical suggestion to try to jolt Mr Dowling into ending a row. The row started when Dowling tuned the radio to RTE and Mr Finlay switched it back to Nova FM.

In his evidence, Mr Dowling said Mr Finlay put his hand in the shape of a gun and said he would put a bullet in his head and he would shoot the rest of his family.

Judge Timothy Lucey said Mr Finlay was applying for a gun licence and it was generally up to the applicant to demonstrate that he was of good character.

He said all facts or allegations should be heard, and it will be up to the judge to decide which bits are true or not.

Judge Lucey adjourned the case.