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Dublin: 8°C Monday 1 March 2021

Man jailed for four years for possessing a home-made shotgun made from iron bars

Nathan Ring was convicted of illegally possessing the improvised shotgun on a date in September 2014.

14271055280_2577c47570_k Limerick Court House Source: William Murphy

A MAN WHO walked around a Limerick housing estate in broad daylight armed with a loaded gun made from iron bars, has been jailed for four years.

Nathan Ring with an address at St Michael’s Place, Ballinasloe, Galway, was observed by Gardaí throwing something into the front garden of a house after he had spotted officers following him.

When Gardaí checked the garden they discovered a sock containing a “crude firearm” made from two iron bars, which when fitted together would fire a 12-gauge cartridge.

One live round was found inside one of the iron bars.

The court heard how when sliding one bar into the other, a small pin would be released that would strike the cap of the cartridge, discharging the round.

Ring, who was 18 at the time, was one of four men seen by Gardaí armed with a baseball bat, timber laths, and a screwdriver.

The court heard they were involved in a “dispute” with a third party.

“There is no evidence it was part of a feud. This was an isolated incident,” Judge Tom O’Donnell, presiding, said.


On 19 April last, Ring was convicted by a jury, following his trial at Limerick Circuit Court, of one count of illegally possessing a 12-gauge improvised shotgun, at McDonagh Avenue, Janesboro, Limerick, on 12 September 2014.

The jury also unanimously found him guilty of illegally possessing of a 12-gauge cartridge at the same location, on the same date.

In passing sentence Wednesday, judge O’Donnell described the improvised firearm as “a lethal weapon”.

During his trial, Ring denied having the gun and ammunition, but admitted possessing wooden sticks for his “own protection”.

The court heard Ring, (20), had previous convictions for possession of weapons and knives, public order and criminal damage.

The judge said there were “disturbing” aggravating elements, including that the incident happened in “broad daylight”, and that Ring was “acting with others who were armed”.

He added: “Based on a garda forensic examination this was a firearm capable of firing a 12-gauge cartridge. It is a lethal weapon.”

He jailed Ring for six years, suspending the final two years, and backdated the sentence to 12 April.

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About the author:

David Raleigh

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