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Man expresses remorse over gun charge, court hears

A 25-year-old man who concealed and handed over a loaded handgun to another man has expressed his remorse for getting involved.

Ryan Kelly, from Captains Road in Crumlin in Dublin, pleaded guilty to possession of a .39 Smith and Wesson gun with five rounds of ammunition on 21 November 2021.

He had been under surveillance as part of an investigation by the gardaí’s Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Kelly was arrested in a car with three other people with gloves, all of whom had ‘burner’ phones, two of whom had keys to stolen cars and were wearing snoods.

One of the stolen cars had false number plates and a bottle of petrol on the passenger seat. The other was never found.

Earlier that evening, Kelly was seen hiding the revolver in a hedge across the road from his home.

When a taxi arrived, he retrieved the gun which was wrapped in a blue cloth, and dropped it into the taxi where gardaí later found it in the footwell of the passenger seat.

The taxi was driven away by his co-accused, 53-year-old Anthony Walker from Marrowbone Lane in Dublin who has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.

He was arrested after an armed intervention forced his taxi to stop near the M50.

The car in which Kelly was in travelled the same route and was subsequently stopped nearby.

Gardaí also recovered texts on burner phones between the two men.

“Send me the no, I nearly there,” Walker texted Kelly after he collected the revolver from him, the court heard today.

Kelly replied: “I’ll be there.”

Detective Garda John Rourke said that Kelly had nine previous convictions for road traffic and public order offences but had never been in prison before.

He agreed with Defence Counsel that this offence was “of a different order”.

Senior Counsel Brendan Grehan said Kelly has had time to reflect and wanted to express his deep remorse for getting involved.

He said Kelly was 22 at the time, the youngest person in the car and has a network of family and other support.

“It appears to be a very radical departure from previous matters,” he said.

The court was told the maximum sentence for the offences is 14 years.

Mr Justice Paul Burns said the Special Criminal Court will sentence Kelly in two weeks’ time.

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