A Dublin man arrested during a Special Branch investigation into dissident republican activity pleaded not guilty to IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court today.
Sean Farrell, 26, of Kilfenora Road, Crumlin, is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on July 7 last.
Opening the prosecution case, Mr Michael Bowman BL told the court that Detective Superintendent Diarmuid O’ Sullivan of the Special Detective Unit launched an intelligence-led operation following the receipt of confidential information on the afternoon of July 7 last year.
The investigation centred on a one bedroom flat at Bride Road in Dublin 8. The accused man was arrested at 5.40 pm in the Coombe area and taken to Terenure garda station where he was interviewed on six occasions.
During the interviews, Farrell made no reply to any of the questions put to him concerning IRA membership apart from one reply.
Mr Bowman said that during a search of the flat at Bride Road, three firearms were found, a pump-action sawn-off shotgun, a semi-automatic pistol and an Uzi semi-automatic pistol. Gardaí also found 147 rounds of ammunition.
Counsel said that one of Farrell’s fingerprints was found on a black plastic bag in which the pump action was wrapped.
Gardaí also analysed text messages between the accused’s mobile phone and that of another man who was also arrested at the time. One text from the other man’s phone read: “Sean, did you put everything in one bag?”
He said that gardaí also noticed two tattoos on Farrell – one of a Celtic Cross and the words “Oglaigh na hEireann” and another of a red triangle showing a man holding a gun with the words “sniper at work”.
The court would also hear the belief evidence of Chief Superintendent Kevin Donohoe that he believed Farrell was a member of the IRA on July 7.
The trial is continuing.