Man 'sought to buy firearm in Cork to shoot father' 

Suspect originally entered the country in 'a clandestine manner'.
Man 'sought to buy firearm in Cork to shoot father' 

Gardaí objected to the man being granted bail.

A man is in custody after gardaí alleged he had sought to buy a firearm to shoot his father, and he had originally entered the country in "a clandestine manner".

The man — who cannot be named — first came before the district court in West Cork last Sunday having earlier been arrested on foot of the breach of a safety order and an earlier alleged assault on his father.

The man was back before the district Court in Bantry this week, where gardaí said they were maintaining their objection to his release on bail.

Judge James McNulty recounted the objections to bail, first outlined in court last Sunday, which included the breach of an order, a garda investigation which focused in particular on the man's efforts to buy a firearm, and how he had entered the country in what was described as a clandestine manner.

The judge also recounted how the man suffers from a serious illness and had recently been hospitalised. The court heard there had also been concerns as to whether he would turn up for trial if he was released.

Remanded in custody

The man's solicitor, Flor Murphy, did not apply for bail for his client last Sunday and also did not make a bail application before the court this week, instead consenting to his client's continuing remand in custody until the matter comes before the court next month for either a plea or to fix a date for trial.

Inspector Jason Wallace told the judge that the garda investigation was continuing and that more serious charges may be preferred in due course.

Insp Wallace said the alleged breach of the court order "did not relate to a direct threat, it was more the action alleged to have been taken by [the man] caused his father concern that he was about to be harmed".

The court heard that the alleged assault by the man on his father occurred on September 13 last and that this was the springboard for the granting in October of the safety order which is alleged to have been breached.

Garda evidence

Judge McNulty recounted the garda evidence from last Sunday of the man having entered Ireland on November 9 last from overseas and the efforts to buy a firearm, which included making two deposit payments on a weapon. 

The court heard gardaí allege the weapon would have been used to shoot the man's father. Gardai became aware of this and informed the man's father.

Insp Wallace said CCTV footage was being harvested and statements were being taken as part of the investigation, as well as technical evidence regarding passenger information.

Mr Murphy asked for disclosure from gardaí and signalled that his client may consider a guilty plea. The court had already instructed prison authorities to ensure access to prescribed medication for the man.

Judge McNulty said the case illustrated the volume, variety, and complexity of cases coming before the district court and the need to balance the "sometimes conflicting rights and duties and responsibilities" of both an accused person and society at large.

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