A COUNTY Limerick man who is accused of membership of the IRA has been told he can travel to Lithuania next month to attend a family wedding.
Thomas McMahon, aged 31, of Ros Fearna, Murroe is one of two Limerick men who were arrested and charged in February following the seizure of a cache of rocket launchers near Cahir, County Tipperary.
The devices were seized along with a number of vehicles during a garda operation targeting dissident republican activity.
At the Special Criminal Court, McMahon’s solicitor, Ted McCarthy, sought to have McMahon’s bail conditions varied to allow him travel to his sister-in-law’s wedding.
Tara Burns SC, prosecuting, opposed the application claiming that McMahon has already breached one of the conditions of his bail.
Garda Brian Kenny told the court that shortly before midday on April 8, last he observed McMahon at a garage in the city with a co-accused with whom he had been ordered not to have any contact with.
Garda Kenny told Michael Bowman BL, representing McMahon, that he had not made any follow-up inquiries and he said he was not in a position to dispute the assertion that the men had met by chance.
“I didn’t ask what they were doing, they were in the forecourt together at the same time,” said Garda Kenny.
Det Insp Richard Fahy, who is leading the investigation, told the court he had concerns that gardai would not be able to police the other conditions of McMahon’s bail if he was allowed to travel abroad.
However, he said he was not concerned that McMahon was a flight risk and he told the court he is aware he is married to a Lithuanian national and had regularly travelled to Lithuania prior to his arrest in February.
Mr Bowman told the court his client was seeking permission to travel for “up to a fortnight” as his client was also hoping to include a small family holiday.
After discussing the matter with his colleagues, Judge Alison Lyndsay and Judge Flannan Brennan, Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court had concerns about allowing him to leave the country for two weeks.
He added that the “obvious compromise” was that McMahon be allowed to travel to Lithuania for up to a week.
Mr Justice Butler added that the other bail conditions would be relaxed for the same period.
The application was adjourned until June 26, next to allow the prosecution and defence lawyers to agree the travel dates and the facilitate the attendance of McMahon’s father, who was previously approved by the court to act as an independent surety.
The case of McMahon’s co-accused, Noel Noonan, aged 34, of North Claughaun Road, Garryowen was adjourned the same date.
Books of evidence have been served on each of the defendants and a trial date will set on the next occasion.