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Vincent Ryan and Darragh Evans released from free state captivity

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A BROTHER of murdered Republican leader, Alan Ryan and another man have been found not guilty of the possession of an assault rifle and a handgun by direction of the Special Criminal Court.


The non-jury court this morning ruled that there was an insufficient evidential basis from which a jury properly directed could find Vincent Ryan (22) and his co-accused Darragh Evans (23) were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Having been in custody since September 2012, both Mr Ryan and Mr Evans walked out the front door of the Criminal Courts of Justice complex on Parkgate Street in Dublin.


Both men had pleaded not guilty to the possession of an AKM assault rifle and Webley-make revolver MkV1 at Clonshaugh Walk, Coolock, Dublin 17 on September 15th, 2011.


The court heard that the garda investigation in to the offence began after an incident involving the discharging of a firearm on Marsfield Avenue in Clongriffin on September 15th, 2011.


Gardai who searched a Saab 95 car recovered a short distance away from Marsfield Avenue found an AKM assault rifle, an AK-47 style ammunition magazine, a Webley revolver and a Nike bag containing a foil lid from a Pringles crisp container.


The Special Criminal Court heard evidence from forensic scientist Dr Fiona Thornton that a DNA profile matching that of Darragh Evans was found on the AKM assault rifle and on the Pringles lid, while a DNA profile matching that of Vincent Ryan was found on the AK-47 style magazine.


However, under cross-examination Dr Thornton also agreed that the incomplete, low-level DNA profiles taken from the AKM assault rifle and the ammunition magazine could have been deposited there by secondary or tertiary transfer as equally as direct contact.


In an application earlier this week, counsel for Mr Ryan, Mr Hugh Hartnett SC, said that the court should direct itself to find the accused men not guilty. Counsel submitted the evidence “must be consistent with guilt and inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis of innocence”.


He said the prosecution had adduced evidence that an incomplete low-level DNA profile matching that of Vincent Ryan was found on the AK-47 style magazine, but there was no mention of the magazine in the charge on the indictment.






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