TWO Limerick brothers who were the alleged victims of a kidnapping in 2003 shortly before the murder of a city gang leader were yesterday jailed for a total of 14 years after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition earlier this year.
Kieran Ryan, 26, of Craeval Park, Moyross, was given an eight-year sentence at Limerick Circuit Court for suspicious possession of the Browning semi-automatic pistol and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition at Carrigmartin, Ballyneety, on May 26. His 27-year-old brother Eddie Ryan, of College Avenue, Moyross, was given a six-year sentence.
The court heard that Kieran Ryan drove his Toyota Avensis to Ballyneety, six miles from Limerick, to pick up the firearm which had been placed in a field.
Eddie Ryan, an unnamed woman and a co-accused referred to as Mr X, who was not before the court, were also in the car.
Gardaí witnessed the men retrieve a package from the field and later forced the car to a stop as it returned to Limerick. The court heard there was a collision between the Avensis and garda vehicle and a garda received a serious injury.
The package found in the rear of the car contained the high-powered pistol and 15 rounds of ammunition.
Kieran Ryan attempted to take sole responsibility for the items when questioned.
Prosecution counsel John Sullivan, BL, said Kieran Ryan had a previous conviction for violent disorder when two rival feuding factions clashed.
When he asked Detective Garda Paraig O’Dwyer if this offence was part of the ongoing feud that has claimed 15 lives in Limerick, defence counsel objected, saying there was no evidence to back it up.
Anthony Sammon, SC for Kieran Ryan, said the accused had gone off the rails after his father (Eddie Ryan) was shot dead in the Moose Bar in Limerick in November 2000.
The brothers were the alleged victims of kidnapping in January 2003 but turned up hours after gang leader Kieran Keane was abducted and shot dead on the outskirts of the city.
Another man, Owen Treacy, who was with Kieran Keane, survived 17 stab wounds and being left for dead at the murder scene. His evidence led to five members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang being jailed for life for the murder of Keane.
Keane was one of the gunmen involved in the Moose Bar murder of Eddie Ryan.
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