Saturday 24 August 2019

Teen accused of possession of gun tells court she needs her passport to get into nightclubs

Accused: Tia Byrne leaving court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Accused: Tia Byrne leaving court yesterday. Photo: Collins

Tom Tuite

A teenage girl accused of possessing a revolver and ammunition pleaded with a judge to not make her surrender her passport to the court as she needed it for ID to get into nightclubs.

Tia Byrne (18), with an address at Sheriff Street Lower, Dublin 1, is accused of two offences under the Firearms Act for unlawful possession of a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson air-weight special revolver, and five rounds of ammunition.

The gun and bullets were allegedly seized at her home address on February 18, 2018. Ms Byrne was 17 at the time of the alleged offence.

She appeared at the Dublin Children's Court yesterday because the alleged offence happened when she was a minor; however Judge Brendan Toale heard the teen has reached adulthood.

Legal aid was granted to the 18-year-old part-time worker.

She spoke briefly during the hearing and said how much she earned, however there has been no indication as to how she intended to plead. Garda Sandra Kirwan said the defendant "made no reply to the charges after caution".

There was no objection to bail subject to conditions.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said this was the first time Ms Byrne had been in court or on bail. Gda Kirwan asked Judge Toale to order the defendant to surrender her passport and to reside at her address and to sign on twice weekly at Store Street station.

The defendant told the court she needed her passport as "I've no ID for when I'm going out". The solicitor said the young woman required it "to get into nightclubs".

Judge Toale ordered that it was to be handed over to gardaí but they must facilitate her if she needed it to obtain alternative photo ID.

She was remanded on bail of €100.

Irish Independent

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