Rifle modified like machine gun found in home

Gardaí found more than 13,000 rounds of ammunition and a rifle that had been modified to fire like a machine gun, when they searched a man’s home in Co Limerick, a court heard yesterday.

Rifle modified like machine gun found in home

A vast array of ammunition and guns, as well as an army helmet, gunpowder, night vision scopes, crossbows and arrow heads were discovered in the home of gun club operator David O’Dea, aged 48, on June 20, 2011, Kilmallock District Court was told.

Gardaí said they also discovered a loaded and modified Sig Sauer pistol by Mr O’Dea’s bed at his home at Ballycourty, Glenroe, Kilfinnane.

During an application by the State, under the Police Property Act, gardaí sought additional time to hold the items.

Mr O’Dea, through his solicitor, said he wanted to sell the items to a gun dealer.

Detective Garda David O’Leary of the ballistics department at Garda headquarters in Dublin, gave evidence that after obtaining a search warrant, gardaí raided Mr O’Dea’s house and found “firearms, pistols, a shotgun, and a large quantity of ammunition and other items”.

“I came across a number of areas of concern regarding these items,” he told Judge Mary Larkin.

He said gardaí found two “aluminium receivers” in Mr O’Dea’s house that “had been modified” to change a rifle, also found during the search, into a machine gun.

He said the modification was “to render such a rifle to be capable of fully automatic fire”.

“Essentially it turns it into a machine gun. The possession of a fully automatic firearm is prohibited by a EU directive in all EU member states,” Det Garda O’Leary said.

Solicitor Sean Acton, representing Mr O’Dea, said the DPP had previously directed that he not be prosecuted arising out of the seizure of the items seized in the search.

“This is a man who operated a gun club.

“He is not a one-man army,” Mr Acton said.

Judge Larkin adjourned the State’s application to April 25 to allow it to provide a written submission as to why gardaí should continue to keep the items in their possession.

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