Loaded pistol transported from Dublin to Limerick on packed train

A drug user who transported a loaded semi-automatic pistol on a packed train from Dublin to Limerick has been detained for two years.

Paul Sheehy, 28, formerly Maldron Hub, Roxboro had pleaded guilty to two charges under the Firearms and Offensive Arms Act.

Garda Sean Twomey informed the Limerick Circuit Court that after receiving confidential information on April 9, 2018, a surveillance operation was being conducted at Colbert Station.

Mr Sheehy was seen leaving the station shortly after 8 p.m. after arriving on a train from Heuston station. When he went to a taxi stand, Gardai intercepted him.

Garda Twomey said the defendant immediately admitted that the red Liverpool backpack he was carrying contained a gun.

A semi-automatic pistol with a Makarov pattern of 0.380 and 13 rounds of ammunition were then salvaged from the pouch.

The witness informed John O’Sullivan BL that a bullet had been found in the chamber and that the weapon was “ready to fire”. He added that the muzzle was threaded to accommodate a muffler.

Following his arrest, Mr Sheehy Gardai announced that he had met a man that morning to buy cannabis and that he had gone to Dublin, where he received the bag and asked for it to be returned to Limerick.

He said he didn’t know what was in the bag until he opened it after getting on the train.

Andrew Sexton SC said his client’s role is only to transport the gun and he has no intention of using it.

He said the father of three was devastated afterwards, and he stated that what happened wasn’t entirely Mr. Sheehy’s fault. “This happened to him through no fault of his own,” he said, adding that he no longer “mixed up” with criminal elements.

Judge O’Donnell said the circumstances leading to the confiscation of the pistol were bizarre, but the type of gun was an aggravating factor.

He accepted that there was “a certain element of coercion” but added that Mr. Sheehy had been caught in the act.

He was sentenced to four years in prison and suspended for the last two years.

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