A Sligo businesswoman accused of transporting a gun for an organised crime gang has denied she said someone jumped into her car while she was looking for directions.
Deirdre Moran (25), of Glengar, Larkhill Road, Sligo has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a Smith and Wesson .22 Long Rifle Revolver at the Lucan bypass on the M4 on September 1, 2009.
Ms Moran, who was born in Manchester but moved to Sligo when she was 14 and now manages a clothes shop, allegedly picked up the gun in west Dublin and was stopped by gardaí a short time later.
Detective Garda Paul Kane told Mr Michael Bowman BL prosecuting, that after she was apprehended Ms Moran said “ I don’t know, it’s not mine, I got lost, someone jumped into my car.”
The next day she denied she had said “someone jumped into my car”, Det Gda Kane told the court.
Mr Alan Toal BL, defending, put it to Det Gda Kane under cross-examination that this was a girl never arrested before, who was now arrested over a Section 30 offence, which was a “big deal” and she denied she said a man had jumped into the car.
Det Gda Kane agreed but said she denied saying someone got into her car the next day.
Mr Bowman put it to him under re-examination: “You are not giving evidence that anyone got into the car”?
Det Gda Kane replied he was not giving evidence that anyone got into the car and agreed that he was just saying she had said that someone had gotten into the car.
Scenes of Crime examiner Detective Garda David Russell told Mr Bowman that he took photos of the car.
He was asked by Mr Toal under cross-examination to give some examples of how evidence can be contaminated and if he was told the gun had been moved.
“They are going to move it no matter what it is at first point of contact,” said Det Gda Russell.
Mr Toal asked him if the items had been moved and they had been put back again, if they told him.
Det Gda Russell replied “It’s not that it matters to me, it wouldn’t have a huge significance on it.”
Mr Toal put it to Det Gda Russell that it was absolutely vital that he was informed about the gun being moved.
“When I’m asked to examine a car, I will take it that that was where the gun was found. If he moved it I will take it that it was placed back to the nearest point it was found,” said Det Gda Russell.
Det Gda Russelll told Mr Bowman under re-examination that he “did not move the seat” and said his “sole purpose was to photograph the gun in situ”.
Detective Garda Liam Evison attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation said he interviewed Ms Moran.
He said when asked why she was arrested Ms Moran replied “Well yeah, you told me yeah.”
She said she came to Dublin to go shopping in Liffey Valley said she bought a jumper for her son.
Det Gda Evison said she was also shown an exhibit of a sock containing a handgun.
She said in interview she worked 20 hours a week and was paid €9 an hour but received lone parents allowance which was €160 a month.
Ms Moran was asked if she “got by alright on that” to which she replied that she did and she was also asked if she had any other means of making money and she replied that she had not.
In a second interview at Ronanstown Garda Station she said she stopped for directions in Ballyfermot and this was the only person she asked.
Ms Moran said she went to Dublin as a last minute thing and when asked about the gun she replied “I didn’t put it there. I only threw me bag down there.”
Det Gda Evison was asked under cross-examination by Mr Toal if he wrote any notes down, to which he answered he did not.
He put it to Det Gda Evison that he had asked her about her son and asked what she was studying and Ms Moran answered it was fashion buying and merchandising.
Mr Toal put it to him that “the human stuff is missing from the interview notes” and he was obliged to take notes on everything said in interview.
He put it to Det Gda Evison that the reason she may have been in Liffey Valley was to see how shops were merchandised and suggested that going in and out of shops was not an unusual thing for any woman.
In a taped interview shown to the court it was put to her that she was in Dublin with the intent of meeting another person and a transaction was to take place.
Ms Moran replied “No comment”.
It was also put to her in the interview that she followed a pick-up truck to Ballyfermot.
It was put to her that having done her transaction she then made her way back to Liffey Valley and then back to the M4 where she was stopped by gardai and found in unlawful possession of the gun.
Ms Moran said she did not follow anyone and said: “I don’t know how the gun got there”.
The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury of six men and six women.