Three men charged with IRA membership following Limerick arrests

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Patrick Healy was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment
THREE men who were arrested in County Limerick at the weekend were remanded in custody this Monday after they were charged with membership of the Real IRA.

THREE men who were arrested in County Limerick at the weekend were remanded in custody this Monday after they were charged with membership of the Real IRA.

Conor Hughes, aged 38, of Goatstown Close, Goatstown, Dublin; Darren Fox, aged 26, of Coolevin, Ballybrack, Dublin and Jamie Smithers, aged 36, St Patrick’s Park, Tullow, Co Carlow appeared before the non-jury Special Criminal Court this morning.

They were arrested at Kyletaun, Rathkeale during the early hours of Saturday when gardai stopped two cars as part of an investigation into dissident republican activity in County Limerick.

Members of the Special Dectective Unit carried out the arrests and were assisted by members of the armed Emergency Response Unit.

All three defendants are charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA.

Mr Hughes and Mr Fox are also charged with the unlawful possession of a Winchester 12-gauge sawn-off double-barrel shotgun and two 12-gauge shotgun cartridges at Kyletaun, Rathkeale.

The weapon and ammunition, which were allegedly found in one of the two cars, were forwarded to garda headquarters for ballastic analysis following the arrests.

During Monday’s brief hearing, members of the Special Detective Unit gave evidence to the court outlining the circumstances of the arrest and caution of each of the defendants.

State solicitor Michael O’Donovan was told that none of the men made any reply when they were formally charged at Henry Street garda station, late on Sunday night.

None of the defendants applied for bail and all three were remanded in custody by Mr Justice Paul Butler, presididing until this Friday, November 6.

Directions are being sought from the DPP in the case.