Limerick man shot in head and chest in gangland attack is jailed for four years for possessing homemade gun and 88 rounds of ammunition

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A LIMERICK man shot in the head and chest 11 years ago in an attempted gangland murder, has been jailed for four years, after admitting possessing a homemade gun and 88 rounds of ammunition, last year.

Daniel Philips, (30), with an address at Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, received a five and half year sentence with the final 18 months suspended, at Limerick Circuit Court, today.

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Philips pleaded guilty to possession of a home made .22 caliber homemade firearm and bullets, which were found in a bag he threw from a car that was being pursued by gardai along Shelbourne Road, Limerick, on March 26, 2020.

Uniform gardaí attached to Mayorstone Park Garda Station were on patrol when they attempted to stop the car in the Ballynanty area of Limerick.

Philips sped off at high speed, driving on the wrong side of the road, through a number of housing estates, red lights and junctions, the court heard.

Philips was stopped in his tracks a few kilometres away, at Parteen in Co Clare, in a garda managed containment operation was carried out with the assistance of the Garda Armed Support Unit (ASU).

A member of the public, who spotted an bag being thrown from the car alerted gardai who discovered it contained the homemade firearm and ammunition.

Immediately after his arrest Philips had told gardai he had fled because he was driving without insurance but he later admitted having the gun and ammunition.

Judge Tom O’Donnell, presiding, said Philips had been “aligned to a serious criminal element” and was “holding” the gun and ammunition to “repay a drugs debt”.

The judge described Philip’s driving on the day as “reckless in the extreme”, and it was “fortunate nobody was injured”.

The court heard the homemade gun was “viable” and capable of shooting.

The judge said Philips had survived a gun attack in May 2010, in which he was shot in the “head and body”, and he had been left with “serious cognitive issues with his short term memory”.

Judge O’Donnell imposed a concurrent six-month sentence on Philips for dangerous driving and ordered he engage with the probation service for 18 months after his release.

A few minutes after being sentenced at the Circuit Court, Philips was brought before the District Court and jailed for seven days for stealing “two hot chicken rolls” from a shop in Limerick city on June 18, 2019.

In 2012, thirty-year old Shane Mason of Sean Heuston Place, Limerick was jailed for 16 years after he was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of the attempted murder of Philips on May 24th, 2010.

An eye witness told the court they saw Mason dismount a bicycle in John’s Square, Limerick, and remove a black handgun from the waistband of his trousers and fire six shots at a car being driven by Philips.

Philips spent a month in a coma in hospital after bullet fragments were removed from his skull and chest. He had to learn to walk again at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

Philips has not been able to live independently since the gun attack for which no clear motive has ever been established.