Thursday 22 February 2018

Judge lifts gagging order in case of gun on train

Ciaran Ryan (23) is accused of carrying a gun on a train
Ciaran Ryan (23) is accused of carrying a gun on a train

Andrew Phelan

A judge has lifted a gagging order that had banned the media from naming a man accused of carrying a loaded gun on a Dublin to Belfast train.

Ciaran Ryan (23) can now be identified as the man who is alleged to have had the semi-automatic pistol and ammunition that were seized by gardaí on a train at Connolly Station.

Judge Victor Blake said he was lifting the reporting ban following an application by the news media.

This follows a similar move by Judge Alan Mitchell, who last month ruled that the press could identify co-accused Nikita Murtagh (20), a mother-of-one alleged to have handed Mr Ryan the gun and ammunition.

Judge Gerard Jones had imposed the gagging orders at the request of their solicitors who cited "safety concerns".

Mr Ryan, from Summerhill, and Ms Murtagh, from Mariner's Port, both in the north inner city, are each charged with unlawful possession of a CZ model semi-automatic pistol with two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and one shotgun cartridge. The offences are alleged to have happened at Connolly Station on July 19.

At Cloverhill District Court, Judge Blake asked Mr Ryan's solicitor Miska Hanahoe what legal basis there was for the reporting ban and if she could refer to any legislation or case law. Ms Hanahoe said she could not and believed it was at the judge's discretion.

"According to our Constitution, justice has to be administered in public… and the reporting restriction order is lifted as of today," Judge Blake said.

The case against Mr Ryan was adjourned for the directions of the DPP, while Ms Murtagh will be sent for trial when a book of evidence is ready.

Irish Independent

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