Sunday 19 November 2017

IRA threat against Irishmen in British Army was taped, trial told

Michael Kiely leaving the Special Criminal Court
Michael Kiely leaving the Special Criminal Court

Brian Kavanagh

A MAN who read out a Continuity IRA (CIRA) statement that identified Irish recruits in the British Army as legitimate targets for the IRA has gone on trial at the Special Criminal Court.

In a graveside oration delivered last January, father-of-two Michael Kiely read a statement by CIRA "prisoners of war", which stated that "the moment you don a British Army uniform you become a legitimate target for the IRA".

Mr Kiely (43), of Abbeyvale, Corbally, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on January 6, 2013.

Opening the prosecution case, Shane Costelloe, said the matter was "a little bit unusual" as the court would hear a recording of the statement read by the accused.

He said the statement was read by Mr Kiely after a march to the graveside of Sean Sabhat (South), who is buried in the Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick.

Sabhat died from wounds sustained during a raid on an RUC barracks in Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh, on New Year's Day 1957.

Mr Costelloe told the court gardai did not hear the statement being read, as the PA system had failed.

However, Mr Costelloe said the statement was recorded by a reporter for Limerick radio station Live 95FM, Denis Tierney.

In a recording of the statement which was played to the court, Mr Kiely said: "We have seen from recent years in the city of Limerick that Irish men are considering a career in the British Army, the same British Army that hold six of our counties.

"Whether they are motivated by financial reasons or a sense of adventurism, we take this opportunity to say that the moment you don a British uniform you become a legitimate target for the IRA."

He later said: "The RUC were a legitimate target for Sean Sabhat and his comrades then, and the RUC are still legitimate targets today." The speech was signed: "The Continuity IRA prisoners, Portloaise gaol".

Mr Costelloe said Chief Superintendent Dave Sheehan will also tell the court that Mr Kiely was a member of an illegal organisation.

The trial, which is expected to last five days, continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge Flannan Brennan.

Irish Independent

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