Man (22) allegedly caught with semi-auto handgun, bullets and silencer is bailed

Bail: Michael Hanney leaving court today
Bail: Michael Hanney leaving court today

A 22-YEAR-OLD man has been released on bail after he was allegedly caught transporting bullets and a Russian-made semi-automatic handgun in Dublin.

Gardai stopped and searched a car at 5pm on Monday at Carton Way in Ballymun in north Dublin. Two men were arrested and taken to Coolock Garda Station where they were detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

One of them was brought before Judge Michael Coghlan at Dublin District Court today. Michael Hanney of Marewood Crescent in Ballymun is charged with unlawfully possessing a Marakov 9mm handgun and three rounds of ammunition at Carton Way.

Garda Liam Mangan, of Ballymun detective unit, told Judge Michael Coghlan that Mr Hanney made no reply when he was charged.

He objected to bail citing the seriousness of the offence and he added that directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) need to be obtained. He also said Mr Hanney, who has not yet entered a plea, could face further charges.

Defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said his client, who was wearing jeans and a white polo shirt, was applying for bail and he put it to Gda Mangan that it was alleged his client was “in the role of the courier rather than anything more serious”.

“That is what I am led to believe,” Gda Mangan replied and he agreed there were no doubts about Mr Hanney's identity or address and that he has lived in the same community for some time.

He also agreed there was nothing to suggest Mr Hanney, who remained silent throughout the hearing, was a flight risk or that he would leave the country.

Mr Kelleher asked the court to be mindful of his client's obligations to his family and said the 22-year-old is the main carer for his mother and an ill brother. The solicitor said the defendant's family were of limited means but his mother had brought €400 and Mr Hanney's passport to court.

Judge Coghlan granted bail in the accused's own bond of €300 with an independent surety of €400. He remanded Mr Hanney to appear again in September and ordered him to sign on three days a week at his local Garda station, to surrender his passport, obey a curfew and not have any contact with a co-accused.

Legal aid was granted.

A 25-year-old man also arrested has been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the DPP.