Man charged with pipe bomb possession in Co Kerry appears in court

Judge says charges against Ivan Gilder (59) are ‘as serious as it gets’

A 59-year-old man has been remanded on bail after he was charged with a number of firearms offences including illegal possession of a pipe bomb, two firearms and ammunition following an investigation by Special Branch detectives in Kerry.

Ivan Gilder, a Scottish national, with an address at Gearha North, Blackwater Bridge, Sneem, Co Kerry, was charged four offences when he appeared at a special sitting of Bantry District Court in west Cork on Monday.

He was charged with the unlawful possession of a pipe bomb at his home on March 27th, 2021, contrary to Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 as amended by Section 15 (4) of the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1998.

He was also charged with the unlawful possession of a .22 Magnum Calibre JW Bolt action rifle, a 12-gauge Lamber shotgun, and 397 rounds of ammunition and 125 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, also at Gearha North, Blackwater Bridge, on March 27th, 2021.


Det Garda Barry Cashman of the Special Detective Unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that the defendant made no reply when the charges were put to him after caution when he was arrested outside Killarney Garda Station on March 28th.

He said gardaí had no objection to bail.

Seriousness of charges

Judge Colm Roberts expressed surprise that gardaí were not seeking a remand in custody given the seriousness of the charges.

“One of the grounds frequently proffered as a reason for seeking a remand in custody is the issue of the seriousness of the charges and it’s kind of hard to see how these are not serious charges – they are as serious as it gets,” said the judge.

Det Garda Cashman said the charges were indeed serious but it was a unique case and the DPP was satisfied that Mr Gilder could be remanded on bail with strict conditions.

Defence solicitor Pádraig O’Connell said the defendant had been living in a very beautiful but isolated part of South Kerry for several decades and gardaí were happy to grant him bail while he said an independent surety was not really an option as Mr Gilder’s son was a man of limited means.

He confirmed his client was happy to comply with all conditions being sought by gardaí including that he would keep a mobile phone in credit and charged so he could be contacted 24/7 by gardaí if required.

Det Garda Cashman said gardaí were also seeking that Mr Gilder surrender his passport, which he had already done, and sign on three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Kenmare Garda Station.

Judge Roberts remanded him on bail to appear again at Killarney District Court on April 20th and granted him free legal aid.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times