Saturday 16 December 2017

Man (34) charged with membership of IRA

Natasha Reid

A 34-year-old Dublin man has been charged with IRA membership at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court tonight.

Michael Barr of Premier Square in Finglas was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on Friday last, July 18th.

Detective Sergeant Pádraig Boyce of the Special Detective Unit testified that he had arrested him this evening at Lucan Garda Station.

He told the non-jury court that when he put the charge to him before the court sat, he replied: ‘I’m not a member of the IRA or any other illegal organisation’.

He identified the accused for the three-judge court.

Under cross examination by Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, defending, he agreed that her client had first been arrested on Friday morning in the presence of a number of gardai. He had been released from custody shortly before D Sgt Boyce re-arrested him yesterday evening.

Solicitor for the State Deirdre Byrne confirmed that the DPP had directed that he be charged with the membership. Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, with Judge John O’Hagan and Judge William Hamill agreed to her request for them to deal with the case.

The registrar then read out the charge to the accused, who was dressed in blue jeans and a white and red GAA jersey.

Mr Justice Butler granted Mr Barr legal aid and remanded him in custody to Friday July 25th, when he will have the opportunity to apply for bail.

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