Guns seized in Kildare bought off dark web by man who had ‘fascination’ with firearms

Evan Fitzgerald (21) and his two co-accused described as ‘young and naive’ by judge

Guns recovered by gardaí in Co Kildare had been purchased off the dark web by a young man with a “fascination” with firearms, a court was told.

Evan Fitzgerald (21) of Portrushen, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow; Shane Kinsella (20) of Tynock Kiltegan, Co Wicklow and Daniel Quinn Burke (19) of Allendale Lawn, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow were described as “young and naive” by Judge Desmond Zaidan as he granted bail on Monday morning at Naas District Court.

The defendants were charged with possession of a G3 Heckler and Kock machine gun, a Remmington M1911 handgun and two types of ammunition on 2 March at Ponsonby Bridge, Straffan, Co Kildare.

Detective Gavin Curran of the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau gave evidence that the bureau had been investigating firearms trafficking and performed a controlled stop of a vehicle at Ponsonby Bridge with support from the Emergency Response Unit.


Detective Curran said it was alleged the firearms and ammunition were purchased on the dark web with the defendant using a proton email account.

The court was told Mr Fitzgerald had made full admissions and Det Curran said it was not believed the firearms were connected with organised crime and the defendants were not part of an organised crime group.

Det Curran said it was alleged the guns were to be used for shooting in woods but not for hunting.

“Mr Fitzgerald has a fascination with firearms. He is big time into firearms,” said Det Curran.

The court was told investigations are currently ongoing into who sold the guns.

The court was told the three co-accused were childhood friends. Mr Fitzgerald worked at a steel yard while Mr Quinn Burke was an apprentice mechanic and Mr Kinsella was a student at SETU Carlow studying mechanical engineering.

The court was told Mr Quinn Burke had driven the car and he and Mr Kinsella had known what was being carried in the vehicle.

Gardaí had initially objected to bail but withdrew the application on the basis of strict conditions being imposed. These included the defendants surrender their passports, do not speak to each other and sign on daily at a Garda station. They will next appear in court on June 6th for DPP directions.