Brian Healy arriving at Limerick District Court PICTURE: Press 22
A MAN charged in connection with the discovery of a sawn-off shotgun in a car which was involved in a road accident has been refused bail.
Brian Healy, aged 51, who has an address at Sexton Street North, Thomondgate, in the city is accused of possession of the firearm at Cregane, Bruree, on February 3, last.
Opposing bail, Detective Garda David Gee said it will be alleged that Mr Healy was a passenger in a silver Volkswagen Passat which collided with a van around two miles on the Limerick side of Charleville.
The car was being pursued by gardai at the time as it had driven off “at speed” having been stopped in Charleville a short time earlier.
Following the collision, which resulted in a section of the N20 being closed for several hours, Mr Healy and the driver of the car were taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.
However, Detective Garda Gee said both discharged themselves the following morning.
Limerick District Court was told the sawn-off shotgun was found in the footwell of the passenger seat by members of the fire service who attended the scene of the road collision
While Mr Healy was subsequently arrested and charged, the driver of the car has not been located.
“He has not made himself amenable to gardai,” said solicitor John Herbert who applied for bail on behalf of Mr Healy.
Judge Marian O’Leary was told gardai are “greatly concerned for public safety” as they believe the sawn-off shotgun, which has been sent for forensic analysis, was to be sold on the black market.
Detective Garda Gee said it will be alleged the defendant “allowed himself to become a willing participant in the potential sale of a firearm for financial gain”.
He agreed with Mr Herbert that gardai do not believe Mr Healy procured the weapon but said that he had “several opportunities to distance himself from it”.
Mr Herbert said his client did not seek legal advice following his arrest a fortnight after the incident and that he made some admissions during interview.
He added that he had been drinking on the day of the alleged offence and that he suffers from “some mental health issues”.
Detective Garda Gee said investigations are ongoing and that efforts to locate the driver of the car are continuing.
He added that the Volkswagen Passat is registered to a “person who doesn’t seem to exist” and that gardai are looking to establish how that is.
Judge O’Leary refused bail and Mr Healy was remanded in custody until March 14, next.