A Sligo woman who was found guilty by a jury of transporting a gun for an organised crime gang has been sentenced to five years in jail.
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.
After a nine-day trial in December, a jury of six men and six women returned a majority verdict of guilty.
Ms Moran, who managed a clothes shop in Sligo, travelled to west Dublin, picked up the gun and was stopped by gardai a short time later.
The trial heard that gardaí had “very specific” information about the collection of the gun and that it related to a former partner of Ms Moran, with whom gardai had significant interest in.
Detective Garda Paul Keane told Mr Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that a surveillance operation was set up in west Dublin near the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
He said after receiving information that Ms Moran, who was driving a black Opel Corsa, had the gun they pulled her over as she drove on the M4.
Det garda Keane said Ms Moran was observed driving into the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre car park at around 12.30pm and went into the shopping centre for an hour.
She returned to her car and was observed on her telephone appearing to look for another vehicle.
A Toyota Dyna van and Ms Moran drove in convoy to Ballyfermot where they pulled into a tyre depot. The driver of the van made contact with Ms Moran and she then turned her vehicle around and drove towards the M4.
She was intercepted by gardai in an unmarked patrol car and was pulled over. A search was conducted on the car and a silver revolver was found in a sock underneath the front passenger seat.
She told gardaí she was not in a position to account for the weapon being in her car.
Det Gda Keane told Mr Bowman the firearm was “in good working condition” and that Ms Moran has no previous convictions.
Mr Alan Toal BL, defending, said Ms Moran “is not sorry that she fully contested the case as it is a demonstration in the belief of her innocence but she is now bound by the result.”
“Ms Moran is a person who is hugely well regarded by her peers, her work and in her community,” said Mr Toal.
“She had an unblemished character and now by being involved, falling in love and having a child by the wrong man, she is now here.”
“Her prospects of moving to Manchester to start a new life has been undermined by all this and what a waste of a young life,” he added.
“The horrible part of this is that the people who should be here in court are not and she is and this greatly troubles me,” said Mr Toal.
Judge Patricia Ryan, in sentencing Ms Moran to five years, took into account the serious nature of the offence and that the weapon was a serviceable weapon but also took into consideration her previous good character, the effect on her young child and her good employment record.