Two Limerick men found with loaded gun jailed for total of 21 years

John O’Donoghue and Paul Whelan, both from Moyross, stopped in car by gardaí

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, said the two men were part of a ‘carefully planned operation’. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, said the two men were part of a ‘carefully planned operation’. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

Two Limerick men have received sentences totalling 21 years after armed gardai stopped them in a car and found a loaded handgun, a petrol canister, latex gloves and cocaine.

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding at the Special Criminal Court, said the two men were part of a “carefully planned operation” and the handgun was loaded with eight rounds, one of which was in the breach ready for immediate use.

She said the court does not know what the ultimate plan was. “That doesn’t take away from the very serious nature of the offence.”

John O’Donoghue (29), with an address at Cliona Park, Moyross, Limerick and Paul Whelan (25) of Dalgaish Park, also in Moyross, Limerick, were found guilty earlier this year by the non-jury, three-judge court of possession of a 9mm Colt, semi-automatic pistol with intent to endanger life at Park Road, Limerick on July 30th, 2018.

Following sentencing members of the convicted men’s families cried as they hugged them before they were led away by prison officers.