Tuesday 12 December 2017

Graduate disguised, arms trial told

Ursula Shannon
Ursula Shannon

Brian Kavanagh

A TRINITY College graduate and two men who are on trial charged with the possession of firearms and ammunition were wearing wigs and disguises when they were intercepted by armed gardai, a court heard.

Shane Costelloe, counsel, told the Special Criminal Court that gardai were in receipt of confidential information that a stolen vehicle would be used as part of an operation by dissident republicans for a theft at a property in Co Offaly.

He said that at 6.45pm a white Opel van with false number plates arrived outside a premises of a licensed firearm and sporting goods seller.

Mr Costelloe said the vehicle was surrounded and the four occupants – John McGreal, Ursula Shannon, Colin Brady and John Troy – were arrested. Counsel said a search of the vehicle revealed the two handguns and the stungun along with the ammunition, cable ties, wigs and disguises.

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Mr Costelloe told the court that all four had taken some steps to conceal their physical appearance. Two of the occupants were also wearing wigs.

Ursula Shannon (30), who is a Trinity College graduate and prominent member of socialist republican group Eirigi, and her co-accused John McGreal (37), and Colin Brady (24), have pleaded not guilty to the possession of two handguns and 32 rounds of ammunition at Tullybeg, Rahan, Co Offaly, on November 27, 2012.

Diarmaid McGuinness, counsel, told the non-jury court that his client Colin Brady, of Ashgrove, Baskin Lane, Kinsealy, Co Dublin, was not challenging any of the evidence in the trial.

Counsel for both John McGreal, of Thornchase, Palmer Road, Rush, and for Ursula Shannon, of Inglewood Crescent, Clonsilla, said they were in the same situation.

John Troy (33), of Dunard Avenue, Cabra, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of two handguns and ammunition.

He was remanded on bail until February 18 for sentencing. The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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