04 March 2006

Three men charged with IRA membership


03/03/2006 - 22:28:50

Three men arrested during a Garda Special Branch investigation into the activities of the Continuity IRA in Co Wexford were charged with membership and other charges at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court in Dublin tonight.

The three were Billy Phillips (aged 45), of Harbour View, Maudlintown, Wexford, Jackie Bates (aged 55), of Jacketstown House, Jacketstown, Drinagh , Co Wexford and Robert Kearns (aged 31), of Redshire Road, Murrintown, Co Wexford.

All three men were charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA, on March 1.

The were also charged with the unlawful possession of 160 rounds of ammunition on the same date.

Bates was also charged with possession of a firearm without a firearms certificate at Ballycogley, Co Wexford on March 1. Kearns was also charged with the unlawful possession of an improvised explosive device at Redshire Road, Murrintown on the same date.

During the twenty minute hearing, members of the Special Detective Unit gave evidence of arresting the three men. The court remanded all three in custody until Tuesday when a bail application is expected to be heard.

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