Man charged with possession of assault rifles found in Slane

Shane Rowan also charged at Special Criminal Court with membership of IRA

A Donegal man has been charged with possession of assault rifles and ammunition at an out-of-hours sitting of the Special Criminal Court.

Shane Rowan (39), of Forest Park, Killygordan, Co Donegal, was charged at the court on Friday evening with possession of three assault rifles, including a Chinese Type 56, a Romanian PM63 and a Zastava M70, as well as three magazines suitable for use in each rifle, at Tuiterath, Balrath, Slane, Co Meath on March 9th.

He was also charged with possession of 75 rounds of assorted manufactured 7.62x39mm calibre ammunition.

Additionally, Mr Rowan was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself as the Irish Republican Army.

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce, of the Special Detective Unit, told the three-judge court that he arrested Mr Rowan under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act in Drogheda on Friday.

Mr Boyce said he explained to Mr Rowan the reason for his arrest and cautioned him to which he made no reply.

In the vicinity of the Special Criminal Court on Friday, Det Sgt Boyce showed Mr Rowan a copy of the original charge sheet, to which the accused man again made no reply, the court heard.

Wearing a navy V-neck sweater, Mr Rowan stood up when requested by the registrar of the Special Criminal Court.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding alongside Mr Justice Martin Nolan and Mr Justice William Hamill, remanded Mr Rowan in custody until March 16th, when his case is listed for mention again.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Mr Rowan, consented to the remand order.