herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Gun seized from man on train 'was headed for Hutch gang'

Ciaran Ryan admitted possession of a gun and ammunition
Ciaran Ryan admitted possession of a gun and ammunition

A man who pleaded guilty to possession of a gun at Connolly Station will be sentenced next month by the Special Criminal Court.

Ciaran Ryan (23) is believed to have been on his way to deliver the firearm to senior Hutch mob associates in the North when he was busted by gardai.

Yesterday, Ryan, of Summerhill, Dublin, also admitted the possession of two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition.

The items were recovered by gardai at Connolly Station last July 19.

During yesterday's sentence hearing, Det Gda Gary Dunne told prosecuting counsel Gareth Baker that on the day in question a surveillance operation had been put in place around Connolly Station.

The court heard that at 3.05pm, Ryan entered the station and bought a ticket before going to the waiting area for the Belfast train, which was due to depart at 3.30pm.

Bag

Ryan met a woman pushing a buggy with a child in it. She handed him a white bag.

Gardai then followed him on board and he was arrested.

The white bag was under Ryan's feet and he attempted to kick it away.

Gardai opened the bag and found a shoebox containing a pistol and ammunition.

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 lying low at the time.

One theory investigated by gardai is that the weapon was to be used in a hit on Kinahan cartel figure Gareth Chubb (29), who was based in Belfast at the time.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan, said that Ryan will be sentenced on Jan- uary 29.

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