Alleged kidnap victims jailed for 14 years on gun charge
TWO brothers who were at the centre of an alleged kidnapping scare in 2003 have been jailed for a total of 14 years on a firearms charge.
Kieran and Eddie Ryan (Jnr) were jailed at Limerick Circuit Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possession of a high-powered firearm and ammunition in Limerick this year.
The brothers are the sons of gangland figure Eddie Ryan (41), who was shot dead in the Moose Bar in Limerick city in November 2000.
The brothers made national headlines on January 23, 2003, when three men allegedly kidnapped them at gunpoint.
Following a manhunt involving gardai and soldiers, they turned up safe and well a week later in Portlaoise.
Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan (26) of Craeval Park, Moyross, Limerick, was jailed for eight years for suspicious possession of a Browning semi-automatic pistol and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition at Carrigmartin, Ballyneety, Co Limerick, on May 26.
His 27-year-old brother Eddie Ryan, of College Avenue, Moyross, Limerick, was given a six-year sentence after pleading guilty to the same charge.
The weapon and ammunition were seized when gardai stopped and searched a car following a surveillance operation.
It was the State's case that Kieran Ryan drove a silver Toyota Avensis from Limerick city to Ballyneety to pick up the firearm. Eddie Ryan, an unnamed woman and a co-accused referred to as Mr X -- who was not before the court yesterday -- were also in the car.
Gardai witnessed the men retrieve a package from a field and later forced the car to a stop as it returned to Limerick city. A package was found in the rear of the car containing the pistol and ammunition.
Prosecution counsel John Sullivan said Kieran Ryan had a previous conviction for violent disorder after two feuding factions clashed at Supermacs on the Ennis Road in 2003.
Mr O'Sullivan put it to Detective Garda Paraig O'Dwyer that this offence was part of the ongoing feud that had claimed 15 lives in Limerick.
However, defence counsel for both men objected to the line of questioning, saying there was no evidence to support it.
Judge Carroll Moran said the "safest" way of approaching sentencing was to discount the assertion the incident was feud related. He jailed Kieran Ryan for eight years, but said Eddie Ryan was "slightly less culpable" and gave him a six-year term.