Emmet Curley, aged 33, Rinneanna View, Shannon, Co Clare, pleaded guilty, at Limerick Circuit Court, to possession of an Italian- made sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun at Colbert Station on April 4, 2013.
Detective Garda Damien Kennedy said the defendant was arrested near the entrance to Colbert Station as he was about to board a bus to Co Clare.
He said the weapon was found in a sports bag carried by Curley.
Det Garda Kennedy told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that, following his arrest, Curley told gardaí he had been given the weapon by individuals he “couldn’t refuse”, as he owed them money.
In his evidence, Curley said shortly after being granted temporary release, he was contacted by criminal elements who threatened to kill his wife and children if he did not pay them back €20,000.
Brendan Nix, defence counsel, said his client had been used by “scum who operate the drugs business in Ireland” and he said he has no trappings of wealth.
Passing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said the offence was as serious as one could get under the firearms act, and was connected to criminality in Limerick.
Judge Carroll Moran backdated the four-year term to December 2013.