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Man found with handgun in car was acting as 'courier', court hears


Garda: File photo

Garda: File photo

Garda: File photo

A YOUNG man charged with possession of a Russian handgun and ammunition in a car that was stopped in north Dublin is alleged to have been acting as a “courier,” a court heard.

Michael Hanney (22) was granted bail when he appeared in Dublin District Court today on firearms charges.

Mr Hanney, of Marewood Crescent, Ballymun, is charged with unlawful possession of a Marakov 9mm handgun and ammunition.

The offences are alleged to have happened at Carton Way, also in Ballymun on July 13.

Judge Michael Coghlan remanded him on bail subject to conditions.

Garda Liam Mangan told the court he arrested the defendant at Coolock Garda Station at 5.09pm yesterday for the purpose of charging him.

When the charges were put to him after caution, he made no reply and was handed copies of the charge sheets.

Garda Mangan objected to bail due to the seriousness of the charges.

Applying for bail, Defence Solicitor Michael Kelleher said “the height of what is alleged is he was in the role of a courier rather than anything more sinister.”

“That is what we are led to believe,” Garda Mangan said.

The garda agreed with Mr Kelleher that there were no issues around the defendant’s identity or address.

“He is known in the community and has been living at his address for quite some time,” Mr Kelleher said.

The accused was the main carer for his ill mother and brother, Mr Kelleher continued. The garda also agreed that during the accused’s detention and questioning, nothing was thrown up in relation to his being a flight risk or leaving the jurisdiction.

Mr Hanney’s family was “of small means” but his mother was in court with €400 for bail.

“I appreciate the charge on the face of it, it’s a very serious allegation,” Mr Kelleher said. “He is very mindful of his obligations to his family.”

Garda Mangan said the directions of the DPP were needed and that there would be further charges.

Judge Coghlan granted bail in Mr Hanney’s own bond of €300 and a surety of €400, with no cash required.

Conditions are that he surrenders his passport, signs on three times per week at Ballymun Garda Station and has no contact with a co-accused.

The case was adjourned to September 9.

The accused, wearing a white polo shirt and dark blue jeans, did not address the court during the hearing.

A second man arrested in the same incident has been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public prosecutions.