Man pleads guilty to possession of gun linked to attempted murder of Dublin mother

Joseph Byrne (33) pleaded guilty to possession of a G9A Grand Power semi-automatic handgun with intent to endanger life on March 6th, 2021
Man pleads guilty to possession of gun linked to attempted murder of Dublin mother

Alison O'Riordan

A Dublin man has pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to possession of a semi-automatic handgun in connection with the attempted murder of a mother who was left paralysed after a shooting at her home in the city last year.

Mother of one Sinead Connolly was shot while her eight-year-old daughter hid under the kitchen table in their home at Bernard Curtis House apartments in Bluebell, Dublin 12, in March 2021.

Ms Connolly suffered paralysis below the chest as a result of her injuries.

She told the court that the gunman - Dean McCarthy (33) - was "an evil, sadistic and cowardly bully" who led a campaign of abuse against her before leaving her permanently paralysed in the attempted murder, which had "obliterated" her and her family's lives.

On Friday at the Central Criminal Court, Joseph Byrne (33), with an address at La Touche Road, Bluebell, Dublin 12 pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, to wit, a G9A Grand Power semi-automatic handgun, with intent to endanger life on March 6th, 2021 at Bluebell in Dublin 12.

Byrne also pleaded guilty to having in his possession Luger Barnaul ammunition, in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable inference that he had not got in his possession for a lawful purpose on the same occasion.

Sentencing

Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, asked the court that a probation report be made available for his client's sentence hearing, which was acceded to.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott set a date of July 29th for Byrne's sentence hearing.

Prosecution counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor SC asked for the matter to be listed on July 21st to determine the readiness of the case to proceed, as she said Ms Connolly would be coming from the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire.

Last month, McCarthy was jailed for 15 years after he pleaded guilty to Ms Connolly's attempted murder on March 6th, 2021.

McCarthy also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, to wit, a G9A Grand Power semi-automatic handgun, with intent to endanger life on the same date at the same location.

He further pleaded guilty to having in his possession Luger Barnaul ammunition, in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable inference that he had not got in his possession for a lawful purpose on the same occasion.

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