A MAN who agreed to store a Glock pistol to help pay off a drug debt to a criminal gang watched the hit RTE crime series Love/Hate to learn how to strip and clean the gun, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.
Sammy O’Flaherty, 39, pleaded guilty to possession of the gun and to 16 rounds of ammunition at his flat on Henry Street on October 27, 2012.
He further pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and cocaine for sale and supply on the same date.
His brother Peter O’Flaherty, 35, of College Avenue, Moyross, pleaded guilty to the same weapons charges although it was accepted by the prosecution that his role was much the lesser and he was acting out of “a misguided sense of loyalty” to his older brother.
Det Garda David Baynham was monitoring Sammy O’Flaherty’s address for suspected drug activity when the accused and another man stepped out to go to the off-licence.
Gardai had intercepted Mr O’Flaherty with €25 worth of cannabis on his person and then obtained a warrant to search his flat.
Peter O’Flaherty and an unnamed fourth man were in the flat when gardai arrived. Cocaine and cannabis were on the coffee table in front of the two men, who were sitting on the couch watching a laptop. Beside the laptop was a Love/Hate boxset.
Gardai had then found the Glock pistol in a drawer under the TV.
In his Garda interview, Sammy O’Flaherty had admitted watching Love/Hate and videos online to learn how to assemble, strip and clean the gun.
“There is an opening sequence (in Love/Hate) where a Glock firearm is stripped,” Det Garda Baynham told the court “and that extract was on the laptop when we entered the property”.
Peter O’Flaherty, who was in the FCA for 14 years, also admitted handling the gun on one occasion but there was also evidence that he had urged his brother to “get rid of it as it was not safe to have in the house”.
Mark Nicholas BL, for Sammy O’Flaherty, told Judge Carroll Moran that watching a mainstream TV show in order to learn how to handle a gun was hardly the mark of an experienced gunman.
The court heard Sammy O’Flaherty was being used by sinister elements to store the gun for two weeks for which he would have €500 taken off his drug debt.
Sentencing was adjourned to November 24.