Tuesday 16 January 2018

Seven men charged with IRA membership

Brian Kavanagh

Seven Dublin men who are charged with IRA membership have been served with books of evidence at the Special Criminal Court.

At a special sitting of the non-jury court in July the seven men were charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on July 3rd.

The seven are: Peter Burns (39) of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, Kevin Braney (39) also of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, Michael Barr (33) of Carlton Court, Poppintree, Ballymun, Brian Nick McBennett (54) of Ard Collum Avenue, Artane, John Brock (41) of Glenview Park, Tallaght, Declan Phelan (31) of Lanndale Lawns, Tallaght and Desmond Christie (49) of Liam Mellows Road, Finglas were all charged with the same offence on the same date.

Four of the seven men - Kevin Braney, Declan Phelan, John Brock and Desmond Christie - were also among eight men arrested on Good Friday after a search of a commercial premises in Clondalkin as part of a garda investigation in to the activities of dissident republicans.

They were brought before an Easter Sunday sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court where they was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on March 29th, 2013.

Mr Vincent Heneghan BL, for the State, this morning (Tuesday) told the non-jury court that books of evidence could be served on all of the accused persons.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court would list the case for mention again on December 11th.

Lawyers for the accused men told the court that they were objecting to an application by Mr Heneghan to have the next hearing of the case made via video link.

Mr Justice Butler said he appreciated the view of people who did not like video link but the Oireachtas had taken a different view. He said that the as long as justice can be done by video link the court would provide for it.

Although the matter appeared to a routine case, Mr Justice Butler said if it “turned in to something else” the court would adjourn the matter and have the accused men appear in person.

Irish Independent

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