Trial for man charged with firearms eight years ago

A man charged with possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances in the Oranmore area more than eight years ago has been refused bail and sent forward for trial.

Kieran Smyth (42 ), who at the time of the offence had been residing in Spiddal but who has spent most of the last eight years in the US, was brought before Galway District Court on Monday charged with being in possession of a firearm - a double barrel shotgun - and ammunition - four 12 gauge cartridges - in such circumstances as to give rise to the reasonable inference that it was not for a lawful purpose at Carrowmoneash, Oranmore, on March 10, 2003.

Detective Michael Kelleher gave evidence in court that Smyth was arrested on foot of a bench warrant at Shannon Airport on September 15 last just after 4pm and that the book of evidence was served on the accused on the morning of the court sitting.

Inspector Ernie White told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions consents to Smyth being sent forward for trial, pursuant to Section 45(2 ) of the Offences Against the State Act, to the next sittings of the Galway Circuit Court. The inspector then requested the accused be remanded into further custody.

In making an application for bail, defence solicitor Noel Rattigan said the offence occured eight and a half years ago during which time his client, who is married, has been residing in the US. He said his client has already been in custody for four months.

Objecting to bail, Detective Kelleher said that Smyth had fled the jurisdiction, that he was later deported from the US to England, and a European Arrest Warrant was issued allowing gardai to travel to England to take custody of him.

Judge Mary Fahy refused bail on that basis and ordered Smyth to be returned for trial to the Galway Circuit Criminal Court commencing October 6. Legal aid plus one junior counsel was also granted.

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