Man caught with four handguns, a submachine gun and ammunition jailed for seven-and-a-half years

Man caught with four handguns, a submachine gun and ammunition jailed for seven-and-a-half years

A man caught with four handguns, a submachine gun and ammunition in a bag after a high-speed garda pursuit has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Keith O'Reilly (28) was convicted after a trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of possession of the firearms and ammunition, endangerment and four charges of dangerous driving at Priorswood Road, Priorswood, Dublin on April 3, 2018.

O'Reilly, formerly of Bunratty Drive, Coolock, Dublin, had denied the charges.

Judge Karen O'Connor sentenced him to eight and a half years imprisonment for possession of the firearms and ammunition but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

Judge O'Connor also sentenced him to four years imprisonment for the count of endangerment and three months imprisonment for each count of dangerous driving, all of which will run concurrently with the other sentence.

The court heard the pursuit came to an end when the car O'Reilly was driving hit a curb and blew its tire and spun out of control near a bus stop. He had been driving at speeds in excess of 100km/h on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h.

O'Reilly got out, retrieved a bag and made his escape. The bag was later recovered by gardaí and contained the ammunition and the five guns.

He escaped from gardaí but was identified and later arrested. The firearms were tested by garda ballistics and found to be in working order.

The machine gun was loaded and ready for use, and three of the handguns, including a Glock, were also loaded. The guns were sealed in clingfilm and it was the view of gardaí that he had been transporting them from one location to another.

O'Reilly's 82 previous convictions include one for a drug dealing offence in 2012. He also has convictions for unlawful possession of a stun gun in 2013, using a mobile phone in prison as well as burglary and criminal damage.

Garnet Orange SC, defending, told the judge that while his client had previously indicated he accepted the verdict of the jury, O'Reilly has considered his position and has decided to maintain his innocence.

Judge O'Connor said the case was aggravated by the fact that there were multiple firearms and a significant amount of ammunition, that most of the firearms were loaded and that members of public were put at risk as the offending occurred in the middle of the day.

She said the mitigating factors were O'Reilly's relative youth, his being the father of two young children, his having taken part in a charity run and his being an able footballer in the past.

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