Man charged with firearm offences refused bail

A Ballybane man charged with allegedly discharging a firearm, and being in possession of ammunition and a sawn-off shotgun with intent to endanger life, has been refused bail because of “grave concerns” that there would be interference with witnesses.

The Galway District Court heard yesterday that Tommy McDonagh (26 ) with an address at 293 Castlepark, Ballybane, was charged with the three offences before the court sitting and that he gave no reply after caution. McDonagh faces charges of discharging a firearm while being reckless as to whether or not a person was injured, being in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge with intent to endanger life, and being in possession of a sawn-off single barrel bolt action shotgun with intent to endanger life at Castlepark on February 21, 2009.

His co-accused John Paul Sweeney (25 ) of 102 Fearrann Ri, Doughiska, had previously been charged with being in possession of a sawn-off single barrel Marlin shotgun with intent to endanger life at Castlepark on February 21, 2009, and had been granted bail by the High Court. Sweeney was yesterday further charged with being in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge with intent to endanger life, intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to a man, and assaulting the same man causing him harm.

In the case of McDonagh, the court heard that he had been arrested at his home and brought to Galway Garda station where he was charged. Defence solicitor Sarah O’Dowd made an application for bail to which the State strongly objected.

Inspector Mick Coppinger said that the objection was on the grounds that the matters were “very serious” and that he was afraid that there would be interference with witnesses. He added that the DPP has consented to the matter being dealt with on indictment.

When McDonagh, a married father of two, took the stand he said that he went to the Garda station voluntarily in February and had fully co-operated. Ms O’Dowd then informed the court that the defendant was willing to abide by the bail conditions.

Inspector Coppinger then reiterated that he had “grave concerns” for the injured party.

Judge Mary Fahy said that she too had serious concerns and refused bail. Legal aid was granted and McDonagh was remanded in custody to appear at Harristown District Court tomorrow.

The court then heard that Sweeney gave no reply to the three new charges proffered against him yesterday. Inspector Coppinger made an application that the High Court bail be extended to the new charges. This was granted and Sweeney was remanded on continuing bail to appear again at Galway District Court on December 14 for service of the book of evidence.

 

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