A Co Waterford man arrested during a garda investigation into dissident republican activity has pleaded not guilty to having three improvised mortar launch tubes at his home in 2011.
Joseph Mooney(43), of Cullinagh, Kilmeaden, Co Waterford denied the unlawful possession of three mortar launch tubes at Cullinagh on September 22nd, 2011.
Opening the prosecution, Mr Garnet Orange BL said that as a result of an ongoing garda investigation into dissident republican activity, Detective Superintendent Dominic Hayes issued search warrants for the home of Mooney at Cullinagh and the Solas Centre at Ferrybank in Waterford City, which is a retraining centre.
He said that gardai who went to Mooney's home found it unoccupied and they then went to the Solas Centre where they arrested Mooney.
During a search of a shed which was on land at the back of Mooney's house but which was not attached to the house, gardai found three tubes which were each a metre high.
Mr Orange said the court would hear evidence from a garda forensic expert that in his opinion the tubes were improvised mortar launch tubes.
Counsel said that Mooney was interviewed after his arrest and he admitted ownership of the three tubes. However, he said that were going to be used as bollards to light up his driveway.
Mr Orange said that the prosecution accepted that the search warrants has been issued under Section 29 of the Offences Against the State Act which the Supreme Court had ruled was unconstitutional.
But he said that the prosecution is not relying on anything found in the house and was only relying on the items found in the shed.
Defence counsel Ms Aileen Donnelly SC told the court the defence was challenging the admissibility of the search warrant and the court began hearing evidence in a "trial within a trial" to decide on the legal issue.
The court will rule on the issue tomorrow.