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Man jailed for storing stolen gun and ammo

A MAN who stored a stolen rifle and ammunition in his garden shed has been jailed for two and a half years.

Liam Harding (43) told gardai he was told to wait for a call about collection of the gun but it never came. He had the gun and ammunition stored for two and a half years prior to being caught.

Harding of Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a Ruger M77 firearm, a silencer and 50 rounds of Eli-Olympic-type ammunition at his home on May 5, 2011. He appeared before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Garda Susan Rowland told prosecuting counsel Derek Cooney that a search of a garden shed at Harding's house uncovered a fishing bag containing the cache.

The rifle was taken during a robbery in Clones, Co Monaghan, on May 11, 2007, Garda Rowland said.

Harding claimed "serious people" told him to hold the weapons and wait for a phone call, which he said never came. He said he was too scared to reveal the identity of these people.

Judge Martin Nolan said Harding had to have known what he was getting into but noted that it is unlikely he will commit further offences in the future.