Man appears in court charged with possession of machine gun in Clare

Man Appears In Court Charged With Possession Of Machine Gun In Clare
Evan Little (32) appeared before Ennis District Court on Wednesday. Photo: PA Images
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Gordon Deegan

A father of three school-going children has appeared in court charged with the unlawful possession of an M16 machine gun used in war zones.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Evan Little (32), of Inis Eagla, Shannon, Co Clare, appeared in connection with two firearm charges arising from his arrest last Friday.


Mr Little is charged with having in his unlawful possession an M16 assault rifle and 179 rounds of ammunition in a forested area at Clonmoney West, Shannon on September 15th.

Detective Garda Ger Cunningham told the court that Mr Little was arrested arising from a joint operation between the Emergency Response Unit and the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit.

Mr Little was first brought before a special sitting of Ennis District Court at 8.30pm on Sunday night and was remanded in custody.

On Wednesday, solicitor for Mr Little, Daragh Hassett applied for bail stating his client’s time in custody since Sunday is the only time he has ever spent time in prison.


Det Cunningham said Gardaí were objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the charges and the significant calibre weapon involved, which he said is commonly used by military personnel.

Det Cunningham said Gardaí anticipate more charges will be brought in the case, adding that Gardaí have concerns that Mr Little may abscond if granted bail.

Mr Hassett told Judge Alec Gabbett that “all the indicators are that Mr Little is someone who is law-abiding and plays by the rules”.

Mr Hassett said Mr Little, who appeared via video link from prison, is a qualified tree surgeon and has three children in school.


Making the bail application, Mr Hassett asked Judge Gabbett not to be blind sided by the type of weapon involved, adding: “There is more to the case than that.”

However, Judge Gabbett noted: “This is a machine gun. This is the type of automatic rifle used in war zones.”

Mr Hassett said Mr Little is willing to abide by any strict bail conditions that would effectively put him under house arrest and would also surrender his passport along with providing a cash surety to court.

Judge Gabbett refused bail and remanded Mr Little in custody to appear before Ennis District Court again next Wednesday.

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