DPP v Conroy

JudgeMr. Justice Birmingham
Judgment Date03 November 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] IECA 338
Docket Number165/16
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Date03 November 2017

[2017] IECA 338


Birmingham J.

Birmingham J.

Edwards J.

Hedigan J.


The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Edward Conroy

Crime & sentencing - Sentencing - Severity of sentence - Possession of firearm

Facts: The appellant had been found in possession of a shotgun in suspicious circumstances, and convicted for that offence and a number of driving offences. He now appealed against the severity of his sentence.

Held by the Court, that the application would be dismissed. Whilst the Court saw some merit in the appellant's submissions as to mitigation for rehabilitation and the totality of the sentence, the appellant had been found with a sawn-off shotgun for which there was no lawful purpose. On that basis, the sentence would stand.

JUDGMENT of the Court ( ex tempore) delivered on the 3 rd day of November 2017 by Mr. Justice Birmingham

This is an appeal against severity of sentence. The appeal comes before this Court in circumstances where on 26th July, 2015 in Galway Circuit Court the appellant was sentenced in respect of four counts that were on the indictment. The substantial penalty imposed was one of five years imprisonment in respect of the offence of possession of a firearm, a single-barrel sawn-off shotgun, in suspicious circumstances. The other matters relate to no insurance, driving while disqualified and drunk driving. The sentence was made consecutive to a sentence that the appellant was serving.


The background facts to the case were that on 1st September, 2015 the Gardai received a report that the appellant was driving a vehicle at a particular location in East Galway and that he was in possession of a slash hook. The Gardai went to the scene, but upon arrival there the vehicle had left. However, some two minutes later, or thereabouts, Gardai at St. Enda's Avenue, Tuam, saw a vehicle with the appellant in the driver's seat. The vehicle took off at speed, mounting a footpath in the process. It was pursued by Gardai, blue lights and sirens were activated. The pursued vehicle then crashed into a wall. At that stage Gardai saw the appellant get out of the driver's seat with a firearm in his hand. He jumped over a wall and then ran off across a field. Gardai followed him over the wall and came across a sawn-off shot gun. The appellant was apprehended, arrested, detained and interviewed and in the course of his detention he made admissions. It is to be noted that at that stage he denied any role in a feud that was ongoing in that area and this was accepted at the sentence hearing by Gardai as having been a correct statement.


In terms of his background and personal circumstances, the appellant was a twenty-five-year-old married man, the father of three children. He came from a troubled background having been exposed to domestic violence while being brought up. He had become addicted to alcohol and was also misusing drugs. He had 74 previous convictions recorded including burglary, assault, theft and dangerous driving. However, he had no previous convictions for firearms. This was a matter on which his counsel placed particular emphasis in the course of the sentence hearing and it is a matter that has been emphasised today very strongly in the course of this appeal hearing....

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT