16 December 2005

Flynn escapes conviction over gun find


16/12/2005 - 11:54:45

Former government aide, Phil Flynn, today agreed to pay €5,000 to charity after a miniature gun and ammunition was found in a desk drawer in his office in Dublin.

Escaping conviction at Richmond District Court, the 65-year-old admitted having a pen gun and two tear gas cartridges.

Mr Flynn, a lifelong trade unionist and former vice president on Sinn Féin, agreed to donate the money to a local priest. He will have no criminal record.

Judge Anne Ryan told the court the only sentencing options open to her were a €250 fine or 12 months in prison. But given Mr Flynn’s high profile role in industrial relations the judge said a conviction and sentencing would interfere with his work.

After considering testimonials for almost 20 minutes, Judge Ryan said: “The fine open to the court is €253.95 and the court considers that in all circumstances that a fine if imposed would interfere with Mr Flynn’s livelihood, I’m taking all these matters into account, the court will accept a contribution,” she said.

Mr Flynn agreed to pay the €5,000 to Father Peter McVerry, a priest who works with young offenders, today.

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