Jail for man guilty of transporting handgun for IRA
A MAN has been jailed for two-and-a-half years at the Special Criminal Court for transporting a 9mm handgun on behalf of the IRA last year.
Daryl Mulcahy (21), of Matt Talbot Court in Dublin’s city centre, had pleaded guilty to the possession of a 9mm Parabellum calibre Beretta model 9000s pistol at Temple Street, Dublin 1 on December 4, 2012.
Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the non-jury court, said that the court dealt with “far too many of these cases” and had always regarded the possession of a firearm as a “very serious matter”, something which was reciprocated by the Oireachtas which had legislated for a maximum sentence of 14 years.
However, he said there were quite a lot of mitigating factors in the case as Mulcahy had no previous convictions and had entered an early of guilty.
Most significantly of all, Mr Justice Butler said that Mulcahy had given an undertaking not to associate with any dissident republicans either in jail or upon his release.
Detective Inspector Michael Gibbons told prosecution counsel, Garnet Orange BL, that in December last year gardai placed Mulcahy’s car under surveillance after receiving confidential information that he was going to move a firearm on behalf of the IRA.
He said that when armed detectives stopped the Volkswagen Polo on Temple Street in the north inner city they found a firearm in a bundle of cloths resting in Mulcahy’s lap.
Det Insp Gibbons said that although tests of the firearm showed that its identification marks had been “obliterated” and that one of the rear sights had been removed, it was not linked to any other crimes or incidents.
He told Mr Orange that Mulcahy, who is unemployed but works occasionally at a garage, had been known to garda for some time prior to his arrest as being active in the IRA.
Det Insp Gibbons agreed with Mr Diarmaid McGuinness SC, for the defence, that Mulcahy came from a respectable law abiding family in the inner city but when he left school he started associating with people who were in the anti-drug movement and who may have been involved in dissident republicanism.
He said that he was satisfied that Mulcahy had now distanced himself from his former associates.
Taking to the stand, Mulcahy agreed with his counsel that he would undertake not to associate with any dissident republicans either in prison or upon his release.
Mr Justice Butler said the court would impose the minimum sentence of five years but would suspend half of that after taking all factors in to consideration.
He said that the suspended part of the sentence would be on condition that Mulcahy enter his own bond of €500 and undertake not to commit any such offence in the future.
Mulcahy is also not to associate with any known dissident republicans or anyone convicted of a scheduled offence and is to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.
Mr Justice Butler, sitting with Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge William Hamill, said the sentence would be backdated to July 11, 2013.
Mulcahy, who was arrested after an operation led by members of the garda Emergency Response Unit, was also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA, on December 4, 2012.
Mr Orange said the prosecution wished to enter a “Nolle Prosequi”, in other words not proceed with the charge of IRA membership against Mulcahy.