A MAN who claimed his life was in danger after befriending the girlfriend of a criminal figure has been sentenced to five years in jail for possession of makeshift firearms.
Gordon Ryan, 21, of Greenfields, Rosbrien, pleaded guilty to suspicious possession of a makeshift or imitation firearm on November 7, 2012, and to the same offence on June 23, 2013, while he was in breach of a curfew.
The second weapon was seized after a 21-year-old man sustained over 25 pellet wounds to his face and upper body, after he was allegedly lured by Ryan down an alleyway near Caledonian Park.
The victim, Cian Quinn, “immediately told gardai who shot him”, but does not wish to make a formal statement.
Garda John Keane, Roxboro Road station, told Limerick Circuit Court that on November 7, 2011, the accused was observed coming out of a house on 80 Hyde Road, the well known home of the Dundon gang, towards a silver car at around 11.20pm.
He was found in possession of a steel pipe, which was loaded with a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge in one. Ballistics experts were able to discharge a shot from the weapon, and firearms residue was found inside one of the weapons.
Firearms residue was also found on the accused’s jacket, however the defence said this was seized by gardai 24 hours after the night in question.
When arrested Ryan told gardai that he had the two pipebars “for my own safety, that’s why I carried it with me ‘cos my life’s in danger”.
He said he had heard a week previously that there was a threat to his life by a number of “dangerous people”.
Brendan Nix, for the defence, said the “gang wouldn’t take kindly to him befriending a lady friend of theirs”.
Ryan told gardai he acquired the items from someone he could not name outside of Limerick city for €150, was shown how to use it, and kept it in a handball alley near where he formerly resided.
Ryan, who has 41 previous convictions, was sentenced to three years in St Patrick’s Institute in 2009 for arson and assault causing harm.
Taking to the witness box, his mother said “if he had brains he would have got real guns” and that he wouldn’t be in court today “if he wasn’t with that woman”. Judge Carroll Moran sentenced him to five years in prison, with the sentence backdated to December 2012.