Saturday 24 February 2018

Dubliner (27) jailed for five years for IRA membership

Free legal aid was granted to the men
Free legal aid was granted to the men

Diarmaid Mac Dermott

A DUBLIN man, arrested during a Special Branch investigation into dissident republican activity in the city, was jailed for five years for IRA membership by the Special Criminal Court today.

Sean Farrell (27), of Kilfenora Road, Crumlin, was convicted last week of membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on July 7th last year.

During the trial the court heard that Farrell was arrested in the Coombe area after gardai found three guns and ammunition at a flat at Bride St. One of Farrell's fingerprints was found on a black plastic bag in which a pump action shotgun was wrapped.

During six interviews while in garda custody Farrell refused to answer material questions relating to the guns. Chief Superintendent Diarmuid O' Sullivan told the court that he believed that Farrell was a member of the IRA on the date in question.

Farrell denied in evidence that he was a member of the IRA,but said he was a republican and a former member of Sinn Fein.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said the court was satisfied that Farrell's failure to answer material questions put to him by gardai was "wilful, deliberate and calculated." He said the belief evidence of Chief Supt O' Sullivan was corroborated by Farrell's failure to answer material questions.

Jailing him for five years, the judge said that while guns were found during the "very successful" garda operation there was no evidence during the trial connecting him to the firearms. He said that Farrell had, however, refused to answer questions during interviews about the guns.

The sentence was backdated to January 1st this year.

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