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Man charged over gun raid at bingo game

A JOBLESS man has appeared in court on a firearms charge following a gun-brandishing incident at a south Dublin pub that ended when dozens of gardai surrounded the premises.

Patrick O'Hanlon (40), of Harold's Cross Road, was charged with possession of a firearm with criminal intent at the Hub bar in Crumlin, where a bingo game was in progress at the time.

No shots were fired during the incident on Tuesday night.

The accused was granted bail after a judge remarked that the charge against him was "phenomenally serious".

Garda Laurence Dempsey told Dublin District Court that he arrested the accused at the Hub in Crumlin Village at 11.40pm on January 4.

He was detained at Sundrive Road Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

At 6.40pm the following day, he was released from the provisions of the Act and immediately re-arrested and charged in the garda's presence by Sergeant Ann Byrne.

He made no reply after caution.

Garda Dempsey objected to bail on several grounds, including the seriousness of the incident and the "possibility of the intimidation of witnesses".

Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins applied for bail, asking the garda if he would consent under certain conditions.

Judge Hugh O'Donnell fixed bail in the accused's own bond of €1,000, with an independent surety of €3,000 and a cash lodgement of €750.

Conditions were that the accused stayed out of the Crumlin area, signed on daily at Rathmines Garda Station between 9am and 9pm and observed a curfew between 10pm and 7am.

Mr O'Higgins asked if the judge would take into account O'Hanlon's financial circumstances. Judge O'Donnell said he had already set bail terms.

"I have heard what the garda's objections were, I have read the charge sheets and they are very serious," the judge said.

"Will the court take into consideration what this man has, given that the court is setting phenomenally high bail," Mr O'Higgins said.

Judge O'Donnell said he had intended not granting bail and had been persuaded otherwise by Mr O'Higgins.

The court heard the accused, who was unemployed, was not likely to be able to take up bail this week.

The judge remanded the defendant in custody with consent to bail to appear in Cloverhill District Court on January 13, for the directions of the DPP.