A FATHER of three school-going children charged with the unlawful possession of an M16 machine gun used in war zones and 179 rounds of ammunition is to face an additional charge, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Evan Little (32) of Inis Eagla, Shannon, Co Clare appeared in connection with two firearms charges from September 15th last.

Mr Little was appearing in court via video link from prison and Sgt John Burke of Ennis Garda Station told the court that Mr Little is to face an additional charge and can be produced in court next week to be formally charged.

Sgt Burke said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that Mr Little’s case will be heard in the circuit court.

A Book of Evidence will now be required in the case. Solicitor for Mr Little, Daragh Hassett told his client in court today “we will see you here next Wednesday Evan. We are moving the case along”.

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.

Mr Little was first arrested arising from a joint operation between the Emergency Response Unit and the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit.

Mr Little has been on remand in custody since last September after being first refused bail in the district court and in the High Court in November.

At the district court bail hearing last September, solicitor for Mr Little, Daragh Hassett said that his client “is a law abiding PAYE worker” and that his client’s time in custody is the first time Mr Little has ever spent time in prison.

Det Garda Ger Cunningham said that Gardai 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.

Mr Little is a qualified tree surgeon.

On the weapon seized, Judge Alec Gabbett commented: “This is a machine gun. This is the type of automatic rifle used in war zones.”

Judge Gabbett remanded Mr Little in custody to appear in court next Wednesday, January 10th.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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