Belfast Telegraph

Dublin mum charged with having gun on Belfast-bound train

By Andrew Phelan

A mother-of-one is facing trial in the Republic accused of bringing a loaded semi-automatic gun on to a train bound for Belfast.

Nikita Murtagh (20) had the case against her adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence, after a judge ruled it was too serious to be dealt with at district court level.

Ms Murtagh, from Mariner's Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin, is charged with unlawful possession of a CZ model semi-automatic pistol with two rounds of 7.65 Browning calibre ammunition and one shotgun cartridge.

The offences are alleged to have happened at Dublin's Connolly Station on July 19.

It is believed that Ms Murtagh was intending to travel on the Belfast-bound Enterprise service.

Ms Murtagh had been subject of an order which banned the media from naming her. However, Judge Alan Mitchell discontinued that ban after accepting submissions from the media there was "no legal basis" for it.

He also said restrictions on naming a defendant are normally only used in certain cases, such as those involving sexual offences. The court must operate in public, he explained, and because he was given no legal basis for the order he lifted the reporting restrictions in Ms Murtagh's case.

An application from the Press to lift the reporting restriction order made on July 21 argued that it appeared to be inconsistent with Article 34 (1) of the Irish Constitution.

When the case came back before Judge Mitchell, the district court heard the directions of the DPP were still outstanding.

Judge Mitchell refused jurisdiction and the case will be sent to a higher court for trial when a book of evidence is ready.

Ms Murtagh and a 23-year-old man, also from Dublin's north inner city, were arrested following an intelligence-led operation involving officers from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

At her first hearing at Dublin District Court on July 21, Judge Gerard Jones, then presiding, had agreed to a defence application for reporting restrictions and he directed journalists not to name her or the 23-year-old man due to "safety concerns".

Belfast Telegraph

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