A cache of guns suspected to have been used in a shooting attack during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin has been uncovered, with one man charged with being a member of the IRA and possession of the firearms used in the shooting of local man David Byrne. Byrne was shot at the venue early last month.
At least four gunmen, two of whom were wearing police-style Swat uniforms, shot the alleged drug dealer as he stood in the hotel's foyer. Shane Rowan of Forest Park, Killygordon, County Donegal appeared before representatives of the Special Criminal Court in Dublin last night, where he was charged at a special out-of-hours hearing, according to local reports.
He was arrested as he drove through Balrath, Slane, County Meath on Wednesday, 9 March. When Gardai police searched his car they found three assault rifles and three magazines of ammunition for each weapon. Recovered during the search were a Zastava M70 rifle, a Chinese Type 56 rifle and a Romanian PM63 – all rifles similar to the infamous Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle.
Rowan has also been charged with possession of 75 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm ammunition. The three weapons will now be subject to forensic and ballistics tests.
Along with the weapons charges, Rowan has been charged with membership of an unlawful organisation, calling itself Óglaigh na hÉireann (a splinter group of the Real IRA). He was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and remained silent throughout the hearing.
The Gardai, Ireland's national police service, said in a statement: "Gardai arrested a male (39 years) yesterday evening the 9 March 2016 in County Meath. He is being detained at Drogheda Garda station under the provisions of section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939 as amended. For operational reasons we have no further information being made available."