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Dublin man convicted of possession of firearms and ammunition

Dublin man convicted of possession of firearms and ammunition

A Dublin man has been found guilty by the Special Criminal Court of the possession of firearms and ammunition.

The court heard during the convicted man's trial that at the time of the offences members of the Special Detective Unit were investigating the importing of arms from the U.S.A.

Pierce Moran (59) of Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, had faced three charges. 

The first alleged that on November 15th, 2014, at Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 he was in possession of various semi-automatic pistols, including an 8mm Knall calibre Valtro model AP29, a 9mm short calibre CZ model 83, a 9mm calibre Makarov PM and a 9mm short calibre Baikal model IZH79-8, as well as a silencer suitable for use with the Makarov pistol and a 12-gauge Beretta model A.300 semi-automatic, sawn-off shotgun. 

The second charge alleged that Moran was in possession of various firearm magazines, suitable for use in the pistols from the first charge, at the same address on the same date.

Additionally, he faced the charge of possession of assorted ammunition, also at the same address and on the same date. 

At the opening of the trial, when the registrar read the charges to Moran, he had remained seated and silent. 

The court then entered on his behalf pleas of not guilty for each of the three charges on the indictment.

During the trial, the court heard evidence that on November 15th, 2014, Detective Sergeant John Kearney, of the Special Detective Unit, obtained a search warrant for Moran's home and travelled there with other detectives.  

Moran answered the door and admitted the detectives inside. The premises were searched while he remained with a garda in the living-room. 

In a bedroom, Detective Garda Jude Ainsworth found a Dunnes Stores shopping-bag containing four pistols, a number of magazines containing ammunition and a silencer which fitted one of the pistols. 

Later, while searching a room immediately abutting the bedroom, Detective Garda Francis Crowley found a sawn-off semi-automatic shotgun wrapped inside a black plastic bin liner.

Moran was arrested and taken to Mountjoy garda station, where he was questioned. 

The court heard that during the sixth interview, Detective Garda Brian Power invoked Section 18 of the Criminal Justice Act and told Moran that a court may draw inferences from his failure or refusal to account for certain matters. 

The detective asked Moran if he could account for the presence of the firearms and ammunition at the East Wall premises, the court heard, and Moran replied, "On the advice of my solicitor, I won't be answering at this time."

At today's judgement hearing, Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding with Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Flann Brennan, said that the inferences were corroborative evidence but that the court did not rely solely on those inferences in convicting Moran. 

Hugh Hartnett SC, counsel for Moran, said that his client was anxious to have the sentencing matter dealt with as quickly as possible. 

Mr Justice Butler said, "I'm glad to hear your client is able to talk to you because he didn't answer the registrar." 

Moran was remanded in custody until next Wednesday, May 4th, when he will be sentenced.