Firearms duo seek more time to launch Section 29 appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal has today adjourned an application brought by two Dublin brothers seeking more time to appeal against their Special Criminal Court convictions for firearms offences.

The Court of Criminal Appeal has today adjourned an application brought by two Dublin brothers seeking more time to appeal against their Special Criminal Court convictions for firearms offences.

Brian Walsh (aged 24) of Harmonstown Road, Artane had pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of three Walther 9mm pistols and three magazines suitable for use with the handguns, as well as 26 rounds of .45 ammunition and nine rounds of .22 ammunition at his home on February 1, 2011.

His brother John Walsh (aged 23) pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of three Walther 9mm pistols and three magazines suitable for use with the pistols at the same address on the same date.

In November 2011 at the Special Criminal Court, Brian Walsh was sentenced to seven years at the, while his brother John was sentenced to five years with three years suspended in February of this year.

Mr Padraig Dwyer SC this afternoon told the court that the brothers were seeking additional time to lodge an appeal against their convictions on foot of the Supreme Court ruling in the Damache case.

In February this year the Supreme Court declared that section 29 (1) of the Offences Against the State Act (as inserted by section 5 of the Criminal Law Act 1976) was repugnant to the Constitution, as it permitted a search of a person’s home on foot of a warrant not issued by an independent person.

Mr Dwyer said that both men intended to appeal to the court based on the validity of the warrants used to search their home.

He said that Brian Walsh contended that his solicitors should have lodged an appeal on his behalf, while John Walsh had sworn an affidavit stating that he had communicated his desire to appeal to his solicitor and hoped that he would follow through on this.

Mr Dwyer asked that the matter be adjourned to allow the solicitor to file an affidavit in reply to that submitted on behalf of John Walsh.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, sitting with Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, said the court would put the matter in to the next list to fix dates.

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