Five people jailed over IRA ‘interrogations’ lose appeals

Kevin Hannaway (71), one of the so-called ‘hooded men’, was among those convicted

A number of people jailed for their roles in an IRA “inquiry” of suspected informants in a Dublin suburb have lost appeals against their convictions.

The group was convicted of helping the IRA carry out interrogations of other members following a series of operations that were foiled by gardaí.

The IRA’s Dublin and Belfast brigades wanted to know who was responsible for leaking information and a number of men were brought to a house in Castleknock in Dublin for their interrogation.

The Garda­, however, had set up listening devices at the house and used recordings of the interrogations to arrest and convict four men and one woman for their participation. They had denied the charges but were all found guilty following a trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, in June 2018.


Kevin Hannaway (71) of Colinmill, in Belfast as well as Eva Shannon (61) of Oakman Street, in Belfast were given three years and nine months and four years imprisonment respectively for assisting the interviewing of persons involved in IRA-organised criminal activities at Riverwood Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15 on August 7th and 8th, 2015.

It was the first time Kevin Hannaway, one of the so-called “hooded men”, was back in custody since 1971 when he was subjected to what the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) called “inhumane and degrading” treatment.

Hannaway had been interned and taken to a secret base in Derry during the Troubles where he had a hood placed over his head while being subjected to white noise and sleep deprivation. The ECHR stopped short of calling it torture.

During the trial, Hannaway asked to be allowed to leave the courtroom while the recordings from the house in Castleknock were played, as the white noise brought him back to the period of detention in 1971.

Seán Hannaway (48) of Linden Gardens, Belfast, was given five years and six months, David Nooney (53) of Coultry Green, Ballymun, Dublin was given three years and nine months while Edward O'Brien (42), of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin was given 16 months imprisonment all for membership of an unlawful organisation, namely an organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on August 8th, 2015.

The Court of Appeal upheld all five of their convictions on Thursday in a judgment that was delivered to a packed court including ten prison officers and a number of gardaí.

Giving judgment, Mr Justice John Edwards said the primary focus of the appeal was the existence of the audio recording that was subject to a number of different legal challenges.

However, he said the three-judge court was satisfied that the trial of each defendant was satisfactory and their verdicts safe.

Mr Justice Edwards, who sat with President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, dismissed each appeal.