Man charged with possession of assault rifles at special court sitting

CourtsBy Sunday World
Man charged with possession of assault rifles at special court sitting

A Donegal man has been charged with possession of assault rifles and ammunition at an out-of-hours sitting of the Special Criminal Court.

Shane Rowan (39), of Forest Park, Killygordan, County Donegal was charged at the non-jury court yesterday evening with possession of three assault rifles, including a Chinese Type 56, a Romanian PM63 and a Zastava M70, as well as three magazines suitable for use in each rifle, at Tuiterath, Balrath, Slane, County Meath on March 9th.

He was also charged with possession of 75 rounds of assorted manufactured 7.62 by 39mm calibre ammunition at the same place on the same date. 

Additionally, Mr Rowan was charged with membership of an unlawful organization styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, also on the same date. 

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce, of the Special Detective Unit, told the three-judge court that he arrested Mr Rowan under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act in Drogheda yesterday.

The detective sergeant said he explained to Mr Rowan the reason for his arrest and cautioned him to which he made no reply.

In the vicinity of the Special Criminal Court yesterday, Det Sgt Boyce showed Mr Rowan a copy of the original charge sheet, to which the accused man again made no reply, the court heard.

Wearing a navy V-neck sweater, Mr Rowan stood up when requested by the registrar of the Special Criminal Court.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding alongside Judge Martin Nolan and Judge William Hamill, remanded Mr Rowan in custody until March 16th, when his case is listed for mention again.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Mr Rowan, consented to the remand order.

By Daniel Hickey