Pal of RIRA chief Alan Ryan locked up for carrying machine gun on bus
A friend of slain Real IRA chief Alan Ryan was jailed for nine years yesterday in a Belfast court for carrying a machine gun and ammo on a bus from Dublin to Northern Ireland.
Vincent Kelly, originally from Dublin, was tracked by cops as he got on a bus in the capital headed for Dublin on November 20, 2014.
On his arrival in Belfast PSNI officers stopped him over and discovered a PPS43 machine gun, three magazines and about 50 9mm bullets.
The judge in the case, Gordon Kerr, described the machine gun as 'lethal' and its only use was 'anti-personnel'.
Police investigation of his mobile phone revealed links to dissident republicans.
Kelly was close to Ryan and moved to Belfast after the republican was killed in September 2012.
Kelly pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and was sentenced to nine years behind bars.
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney said: “We are delighted to have taken this lethal weapon off the streets. Lives have undoubtedly been saved due to the work of officers in Serious Crime Branch, supported by our colleagues in An Garda Siochana.
“Those who follow a path of violence need to realise that their activities will inevitably lead to serious consequences for themselves. Police remain committed to taking illegal firearms out of circulation and putting those involved in this potentially deadly activity before the courts and behind bars.”
Kelly has a long history with the Real IRA dating back to when he was a schoolboy and was the youngest person to appear before the Irish Special Criminal Court.
He caught taking part in a Real IRA weapons training camp in Stamullen, Co. Meath when he was just 14.
Ryan, who was shot dead by a Dublin crime gang, was also involved in the camp and served time in Portlaoise Prison over the incident.