A Sligo woman accused of transporting a gun for an organised crime gang has said she believes someone may have been trying to set her up.
Under cross-examination, Deirdre Moran told Mr Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that “someone put it there without my knowledge.”
Ms Moran (aged 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.
She agreed with Mr Bowman that gardaí have “significant interest” in the father of her seven-year-old child but said she has not been in a relationship with him since the child was born.
Mr Bowman asked her “how many people could be involved in setting you up and have that much information to give to gardaí of your whereabouts that day and the time you were to be in the shopping centre car park?”
Ms Moran said she believes it is a “conspiracy and a set-up.”
“A lot of ridiculous things do happen and this is the most serious thing that has happened to me and the most damaging to my life,” she told Mr Bowman.
She agreed with Mr Bowman that the father of her child travelled with her to Dublin to collect her car from gardaí in February after they had finished examining it.
“He offered to come up with me to help me jump-start the car as I knew it hadn’t been started in over a year,” she said.
“I have no other men in my life – my father lives in England and I have no brothers so he is the only man I know who could jump-start the car,” she said.
Ms Moran told her counsel, Mr Alan Toal BL, that she had travelled to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre from Sligo to purchase a navy jumper for her son for PE as shops in her town had sold out.
She said she is “not sure” if she locked her car that day as it is normal for her to “run in and out of shops in Sligo without locking the car.”
She said she purchased the jumper in Dunnes Stores and placed the item in its bag behind the driver’s seat.
She said she had no conversation with anyone in the car park and did not see a Toyota Dyna which gardaí have claimed she followed out of the car park.
She said she decided she wanted to go into Dublin city centre to buy something for herself when she realised she had taken a wrong turn out of Liffey Valley and ended up in Ballyfermot.
“I realised I was lost and I was looking for signs to get back to the N4 so I decided to pull in at the nearest opportunity where I saw a man on the side of the road and asked him for directions back to the N4,” she told Mr Toal.
She denied she was travelling in convoy with the Toyota Dyna.
She said she made a U-turn in a tyre depot and travelled back towards Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
She then saw a red unmarked garda car with its blue lights flashing beside her. A second unmarked garda car was behind her.
After she pulled in she said she got out of the car and was at the rear of the car when Detective Sergeant Gerry McGrath asked her was there something in her car.
“Obviously one of the other gardaí who searched the car saw something and then when I went around to the passenger side I saw a gun on the passenger seat,” said Ms Moran.
She denied she came to Dublin to collect a gun and denied that she met anyone who gave her a gun. She also denied that she knew the gun was under the passenger seat of the car.
The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury of six men and six women.