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Firefighter gives up bid to get back seized guns

A FIREFIGHTER who was acquitted last year of threatening to shoot a colleague in the head has withdrawn an application to get his guns back.

Former soldier Karl Finlay (36) had his firearms and ammunition seized by gardai prior to the trial.

The firefighter had brought an appeal to Dublin District Court against a revocation of his licences in relation to two guns and the refusal of permission for licences for two more firearms.

The case was before Dublin District Court for hearing on Friday, but prior to the hearing his lawyer David Hegarty said the appeal would be withdrawn.

Judge Timothy Lucey struck out the appeal and made no order in relation to costs.

Last October, Mr Finlay, of Oldbawn Way in Tallaght, was acquitted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of threatening to kill Derek Dowling at Donnybrook Fire Station, Donnybrook, Dublin on April 5, 2011.

The two men had been working together in the kitchen of the fire station when there was a row about which radio station to listen to.

Dublin District Court previously heard that that Mr Finlay's applications for the gun licences had been refused by gardai on three grounds.

First, it was alleged Mr Finlay made a threat to Mr Dowling by putting his finger to his head and making a gun gesture.


Secondly, Mr Finlay admitted during the trial that he considered committing suicide when he was suspended from the Dublin Fire Brigade.

Thirdly, Mr Finlay was investigated by his employers in relation to an assault on a female.

No assault complaint was made to gardai. Lawyer Mr Hegarty had argued this evidence should not be considered as it was previously considered by the circuit court, where Mr Finlay was acquitted.

Fintan Valentine, on behalf of the gardai, had said the burden of proof was different to the burden in a criminal case.

Mr Valentine had asked the judge to hear all the relevant evidence, saying the issue in this case was if Mr Finlay could hold the firearms without endangering public safety.