Tuesday 17 July 2018

Mother (21) facing gun charges denied bail over flight risk

Nikita Murtagh from Mariners Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, is charged with unlawful possession of a CZ model 70 semi-automatic pistol, two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and a shotgun cartridge
Nikita Murtagh from Mariners Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, is charged with unlawful possession of a CZ model 70 semi-automatic pistol, two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and a shotgun cartridge

Tom Tuite

A 21-year-old mother of one charged in connection with the handover of a loaded gun on a Dublin to Belfast train has been refused bail as she was returned for trial to the Special Criminal Court.

It was believed the weapon was to be used in the commission of a murder, Dublin District Court was told during a bail hearing yesterday.

Nikita Murtagh (right) from Mariners Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, is charged with unlawful possession of a CZ model 70 semi-automatic pistol, two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and a shotgun cartridge, which were allegedly recovered by gardaí on the Dublin to Belfast train at Connolly Station on July 19 last.

Ms Murtagh and Ciaran Ryan (23), from Summerhill, Dublin 1, were arrested following an intelligence-led operation involving officers from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

She appeared again at Dublin District Court yesterday when she was served with a book of evidence.

A State solicitor told Judge Bryan Smyth that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided the ordinary courts were not suitable for the administration of justice in this case.

Judge Smyth acceded to the DPP's request to send the young woman forward for trial to the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

However, Garda Marguerite Reilly, attached to the Special Crime Task Force, said the woman was a flight risk and had strong links outside the jurisdiction, in Northern Ireland and in other parts of Europe.

She said it was believed the loaded firearm was to be used in the commission of a murder. She said the arrest was made during an investigation targeting an organised crime gang in an on-going feud inside and outside this jurisdiction.

She said the woman was seen pushing a buggy with a young child. A handbag containing the firearm and ammunition was on the side of the buggy beside a young child during the handover, it was alleged.

She was arrested later on the same day outside Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport in possession of her passport.

Ms Murtagh, dressed in a white top and blue jeans, wept as she told the court that she would obey any bail condition set down.

The co-defendant, Mr Ryan, who faces the same charges, was also refused bail earlier, and is due to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on November 7.

Irish Independent

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