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Man denying IRA membership was arrested wearing wig and woollen hat

A DUBLIN man who denies membership of the IRA was wearing a wig and a woollen hat at the time he was arrested by gardai, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

John Daly (49) of Dunsink Gardens, Finglas, has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on January 3, 2012.

When the accused was arrested outside shops in Clonsilla in west Dublin following a surveillance operation, he was wearing a wig and a black hat, the court heard.

Detective Sergeant Marilyn Brosnan told the non-jury court that when she arrived at a shop car park in Clonsilla, the area had been secured by the Emergency Response Unit and two men were being restrained on the ground.

She said Mr Daly was wearing a wig and a woollen hat at the time of his arrest on suspicion of membership of an illegal organisation. Det Sgt Brosnan then showed a black beanie hat and a short brown wig to the court.

In his opening speech Mr Garnet Orange BL for the State told the three-judge court that the accused answered no questions when he was interviewed at Finglas Garda Station.

Gardai were observing two vehicles as part of the surveillance operation - a red Mazda 6, which the court heard was the accused’s car and a black Volvo C30, which had been stolen in Castleknock two weeks earlier.

In a statement read to the court Detective Garda Conor Sweeney said he observed a red Mazda being driven by the accused towards Cardiffsbridge Road which he said was followed by a black Volvo.

Detective Sergeant Patrick Comer said in a statement he was on duty when he said he observed a red Mazda 6 on Hollystown roundabout.

Det Sgt Comer said the car stopped at a garage and had two males inside, one of whom was the accused.

He then said he saw a red Mazda 6 and a black Volvo driving on Dunsink Road. He then saw the accused walking away from the Mazda 6 towards the Castlecourt estate, he said.

Det Sgt Comer said he could see two persons in a black Volvo as it turned left onto Clonsilla Road and before it was parked.

Detective Garda Mark Shortt said he observed a red Mazda parked at a garage and that the accused was driving it.

He said he then saw it on the Tyrellstown roundabout immediately followed by a black Volvo.

Det Gda Shortt said he later saw a black Volvo parked outside a shop in a car park on the Clonsilla Road.

Detective Garda John Feeney told the court he brought Mr Daly to the Special Criminal Court where he was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation.

The trial continues tomorrow presided over by Mr Justice Paul Butler.

Online Editors