Public excluded from trial of IRA accused as surveillance evidence given

Court told member of Garda unit watched on as fake explosives delivery arrived at man’s home

he public was excluded from a trial of three men accused of IRA membership as members of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) give evidence.

he public was excluded from a trial of three men accused of IRA membership as members of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) give evidence.

 

The public was excluded from a trial of three men accused of IRA membership as members of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) give evidence.

The judges at the non-jury Special Criminal Court said it was necessary to exclude the public to protect the identities of gardaí involved in covert operations tackling serious organised crime and terrorism.

Jonathan Hawthorn (45), of Ballintyre Downs in Ballinteer; James Geraghty (61), of Dolphin House in Dolphin’s Barn; and Donal O’Ceallaigh (33), of Beach Road, Sandymount, have pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA.

The court has previously heard that gardaí, acting on a tip-off from an FBI agent, sent fake explosives to Mr Geraghty’s address. A garda dressed as a DHL driver delivered the package.

Following Tuesday’s ruling, a senior garda within the NSU said he was watching as the fake delivery arrived at the house. The witness took photographs of Mr Hawthorn receiving the package while Mr O’Ceallaigh was nearby. The photos were shown to the court.

The trial continues before Justice Isobel Kennedy presiding with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Gerard Haughton.