Tuesday 24 October 2017

Dad charged after machine guns and handguns found in car

Stock picture
Stock picture

Andrew Phelan

A jobless father of one has been charged after gardai found two machine guns, three handguns, silencers and ammunition in a parked car in a north Dublin apartment complex.

Graham Gardiner (32) appeared in Dublin District Court on firearms charges following the weapons haul.

The court heard he was found with a key that later opened the car, which had four guns in a holdall gag in the boot and another in the glovebox.

Around 100 rounds of assorted ammunition were also found.

Mr Gardiner, of Carnlough Road, Cabra, was remanded in custody with consent to bail, under strict conditions.

He is charged with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances at Quarry Road, Cabra on November 5 last.

Detective Garda Ronan Doolan of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau told Judge Anthony Halpin he arrested the defendant at Finglas Garda Station at midnight last night and he made no reply to either charge after caution.

Objecting to bail, he said the defendant was stopped in the course of a planned operation along with two other men on November 5.

He was detained under the Misuse of Drugs Act at Mountjoy Garda Station, where he was searched and found in possession of a car key, the garda said.

All three men were released from custody and gardai later found that the car key opened a 05 Subaru Outback that was parked in an underground car park at an apartment complex on Quarry Road, Cabra.

There was a Nike holdall bag in the boot which was found to contain two MP9 machine guns, two silencers and four loaded magazine clips, as well as two loaded Smith & Wesson handguns.

Another Smith & Wesson handgun was found in the glovebox, Det Gda Doolan said.

He told the court a DNA sample taken from the accused matched a DNA profile found on the trigger catch of one of the handguns.

He said the accused's DNA also matched a profile taken from a machine gun and another of the weapons.

Two of the weapons in the DNA test were from the boot and the third was from the glovebox, the det gda said.

Applying for bail, Defence Solicitor Peter Connolly said the accused enjoys a presumption of innocence.

He was on jobseeker's allowance and was not a man of significant means, Mr Connolly said.

He had a child from a previous relationship and he was now in another relationship, he continued, adding that a surety "would be forthcoming."

"He answered questions and has basically denied any criminal culpability," Mr Connolly said. "He denies possession of the firearms."

Det Gda Doolan said Mr Gardiner had given an account of how he came into possession of the car key but could not clarify how his DNA was found on the firearms.

The court heard the investigation was in its early stages and the DNA report was verbal at this stage.

Judge Halpin asked the garda if a cash lodgement would allay his fears in relation to bail being granted.

"Not really, Judge," he replied. "These matters relate to issues going on in Dublin."

Judge Halpin said he would grant bail on strict terms. The accused must lodge €1,000 in cash, with an independent surety of €10,000 also required.

He is to sign on daily at a garda station, live at an agreed address, observe a curfew and surrender his passport to gardai. He must also be contactable by phone at all times.

The case was adjourned to Cloverhill District Court this Friday, December 16.

The accused was remanded in custody until he is able to take up bail.

Mr Gardiner, wearing a grey anorak, black jumper, grey tracksuit bottoms and white runners did not address the court.

Legal aid was granted.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News