Father held on machine gun possession charge to face further matter

Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

A FATHER of three school-going children charged with the unlawful possession of an M16 machine gun and 179 rounds of ammunition is to face an additional charge, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court, Evan Little (32) of Inis Eagla, Shannon, County Clare, appeared in connection with two firearms charges from September 15 last.

Mr Little was appearing in court via video link from prison and Sergeant John Burke of Ennis Garda Station told the court that Mr Little is to face an additional charge and can be produced in court next week to be formally charged.

Sergeant Burke said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that Mr Little’s case will be heard in the circuit court.

A book of evidence will be required in the case.

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Solicitor for Mr Little, Daragh Hassett, told his client in court on Wednesday (January 3) that “we will see you here next Wednesday Evan. We are moving the case along.”

Mr Little is charged with having in his unlawful possession an M16 assault rifle and 179 rounds of ammunition in a forested area at Clonmoney West in Shannon on September 15.

Mr Little, a qualified tree surgeon, was first arrested arising from a joint operation between the Emergency Response Unit and the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit.

Mr Little has been on remand in custody since last September after being first refused bail in the District Court and in the High Court in November.

At the District Court bail hearing last September, solicitor for Mr Little, Daragh Hassett, said that his client “is a law abiding PAYE worker” and that his client’s time in custody is the first time Mr Little has ever spent time in prison.

Detective Garda Ger Cunningham said that Gardaí were objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the charges and the significant calibre weapon involved, which he said is commonly used by military personnel.

On the weapon seized, Judge Alec Gabbett commented: “This is a machine gun. This is the type of automatic rifle used in war zones.”

Judge Gabbett remanded Mr Little in custody to appear in court on January 10.