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Trinity graduate gets six years for weapons offences

A TRINITY College graduate arrested along with two men in a raid by armed gardai outside the home of an arms dealer has been jailed for the possession of guns and ammunition.

Earlier this month Ursula Shannon (30) and her co-accused John McGreal (37) and Colin Brady (24) were found guilty of the offences by the Special Criminal Court.

The non-jury court heard that the accused were wearing wigs and disguises when they were intercepted by armed officers outside a residential premises in Co Offaly which also doubled as a business for a licensed firearms seller.

Shannon, of Inglewood Crescent, Clonsilla; McGreal, of Thornchase, Palmer Road, Rush; and Brady, of Ashgrove, Baskin Lane, Kinsealy; had pleaded not guilty to the possession of two handguns and 32 rounds of ammunition at Tullybeg, Rahan, Co Offaly, on November 27, 2012, but had not challenged any of the evidence.

They had pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of one 9mm parabellum calibre Taurus PT92 semi-automatic pistol, one magazine suitable for use with the Taurus PT92 pistol, one 9mm parabellum calibre Walther P5 semi-automatic pistol and one combined stun gun and flashlight.

John Troy (34), a fourth co-accused, of Dunard Avenue, Cabra, had pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of the same Taurus pistol, magazine, Walther P5 pistol and one ZGJY branded combined stun gun and flashlight on the same date.

Shannon and Brady have no previous convictions, but Troy was sentenced by the Special Criminal Court to four years for IRA membership in 2005. McGreal has five previous convictions for summary offences.

Passing sentence, presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said that in respect of Shannon, McGreal and Brady the court had come to the view that a sentence of seven years in prison was appropriate.


However, he said the court would allow a year for the fact they had not contested the evidence at trial, bringing the sentence to one of six years for each accused.

He said that in the case of Brady the sentence would date from November 29, 2012 as he had been in custody since then.

Mr Justice Butler said the court had come to the view that the appropriate sentence would be nine years imprisonment, reduced to seven years after making an allowance for the plea of guilty proffered.

He said a note from Troy, which states that on his release from prison he is determined not to be before the Special Criminal Court or any court again, was a "significant matter" and on that basis the court would suspend the final two years of the seven-year sentence.

The court was told that on the date in question gardai were in receipt of confidential information that a stolen vehicle would be used by dissident republicans for a theft at a property in Co Offaly.

Gardai said the accused had taken steps to conceal their appearance, and there was evidence that Shannon and McGreal were wearing wigs.