A CORK man who admitted transporting a sawn-off shotgun from Cork to Limerick was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Brian Walsh, aged 26, of St Michael’s Lawn, Mahon, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to possession of the weapon in suspicious circumstances at O’Connell Avenue, Limerick on June 8, last.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of three rounds of 12-gauge shotgun cartridges on the same date.
The defendant, who has a young child, was arrested after Limerick gardai, assisted by members of the armed regional response unit, stopped a car on O’Connell Avenue as a result of confidential information they had received.
The dramatic arrest happened outside the former offices of Limerick County Council and was witnessed by dozens of onlookers.
After the vehicle was stopped, the sawn-off shotgun and three cartridges were recovered in the vehicle.
Judge Carroll Moran was told Walsh - who had a cocaine habit at the time - had accumulated a drugs debt and had been given the car by criminal elements to drop off the gun at a car park in Limerick.
Evidence was also heard that a text message was found on the defendant’s phone telling him to turn back and to abandon the drop off but that he did not see the message prior to being intercepted by gardai.
Walsh - who previously worked as a painter and decorator - was said to be from a good family and hopes to take up studies in the travel and tourism field.
He has no previous convictions, is now drug free and has not come to the attention of gardai since the incident.
Imposing sentence, Judge Moran noted Walsh’s previous good record and he commented that he is not a criminal.
The judge said a mitigating factor in the case, was that Walsh had made admissions to gardai and had pleaded guilty to the charge.
He also noted that Walsh was not the owner of the firearm but was a courier.
He sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment.