A Sligo woman and mother-of-one has been found guilty of transporting a gun for an organised crime gang.
Deirdre Moran (aged 25) of Glengar, Larkhill Road, Sligo had 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.
But after four hours and eight minutes of deliberation, a jury of six men and six women returned an 11-1 majority verdict of guilty.
Ms Moran, who was born in Manchester but moved to Sligo when she was 14 and now manages a clothes shop, picked up the gun in west Dublin and was stopped by gardai a short time later.
She now faces a mandatory five-year jail term when she is sentenced next month.
During the trial 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 class as shops in her town had sold out, but said she told nobody as it was last-minute decision.
She said she was "not sure" if she locked her car that day as it was normal for her to "run in and out of shops in Sligo without locking the car".
Moran said she purchased the jumper in Dunnes Stores and placed the item in its bag behind the driver's seat.
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.
Superintendent John O’Driscoll told prosecuting counsel, Mr Michael Bowman BL, that a surveillance operation was set up in west Dublin near the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
He said after receiving information that Ms Moran had the gun they pulled her over as she drove on the M4.
Supt O’Driscoll agreed with defence counsel that they had received “very specific information” about the gun and were told it was being transported in a black Opel Corsa registered to Ms Moran and driven by her.
He told Mr Alan Toal BL that the information related to a former partner of Ms Moran who gardai “were very interested in”.
Detective Sergeant Gerry McGrath gave evidence that he briefed his team on the possible hand-over of a gun in the Lucan area. He said they believed an Opel Corsa was being used to transport a gun from a member of an organised crime gang.
He said he got confirmation that she had the weapon and directed his men to the Lucan bypass where they stopped Ms Moran. They got her to step out of the car while a search was conducted.
Det Sgt McGrath said the silver gun was found in a sock underneath the front passenger seat.
Moran said in interview that she worked 20 hours a week and was paid €9 an hour but received lone parent’s allowance which was €160 a month.
Judge Patrica Ryan will sentence Moran on January 17 and remanded her on continuing bail.