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Seven men cleared of belonging to IRA

Seven Dublin men have been cleared of IRA membership by the Special Criminal Court after the DPP said it would offer no further evidence in the case.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding at the non-jury court, directed that the seven men be acquitted after prosecution counsel Ms Tara Burns SC said that the DPP would not be offering any more evidence in light of the court's ruling last week that the arrests of six of the men were unlawful.

The seven men acquitted by the court are: Brian Nick Mc Bennett (54) of Ard Collum Ave, Artane, Peter Burns (39) of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, Kevin Braney (39) also of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, Michael Barr (33) of Carlton Court, Poppintree, Ballymun, John Brock (41) of Glenview Park, Tallaght, Declan Phelan (31) of Lanndale Lawns, Tallaght and Desmond Christie (49) of Liam Mellows Road, Finglas.


Each of the men had pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army on July 3, 2013.

Last Friday The Special Criminal Court ruled that the arrests of six Dublin men accused of IRA membership at a house in Tallaght were unlawful.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that in each of the six cases, they fell short of a "modest level of necessary objective justification" for a Section 30 Offences Against the State Act arrest on suspicion of IRA membership.

The seventh accused was Peter Burns (39) of Glenshane Crescent but he did not challenge the legality of the arrest.