Two charged with murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly

Four men have been charged with membership of the IRA on March 6th, 2013

State Solicitor Michael O’Donovan told the Special Criminal Court today that four individuals were before the court to be charged.  File photograph: Collins Courts

State Solicitor Michael O’Donovan told the Special Criminal Court today that four individuals were before the court to be charged. File photograph: Collins Courts

 

Two men have appeared before an out-of-term sitting of the Special Criminal Court charged with the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly.

They and another two men were also charged with membership of the IRA on the same date.

Mr Butterly (35) was shot dead on March 6th, 2013, outside The Huntsman Inn in Gormanston, Co Meath.

State Solicitor Michael O’Donovan told the court on Friday that four individuals were before the court to be charged.

Michael McDermott (58), of Riverdale House, Garrymore, Ballinagh, Co Cavan, is charged with the murder of Mr Butterly on March 6th, 2013, at The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath.

Unlawful organisation

Secondly, he is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh Na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on March 6th, 2013.

He is also charged with possession of a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol with the intent to commit murder and the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition on March 5th, 2013 at Blackthorn Apartments, Brackenwood Avenue, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Det Garda Power said he arrested Mr McDermott at his house at 6.42am this morning and informed him that he would be brought before the next sitting of the Special Criminal Court, where he would be charged with these offences. Mr McDermott made no reply to the caution and he was brought to Finglas Garda station.

Laurence Murphy (60), of McDonough Caravan Park, Triton Road, Bettystown, Co Meath, is charged with membership of the IRA.

Det Garda Brian McCarthy of Laytown Garda station told the court he arrested Mr Murphy at his home this morning and informed him that he would be brought before the next sitting of the Special Criminal Court. He said he explained to Mr Murphy the reason for his arrest in ordinary language and cautioned him.

Det Garda McCarthy said Mr Murphy replied: “This is rubbish.”

Mr Murphy, who appeared before the court wearing a maroon T-shirt and a black jacket, stood as requested when the court registrar read the charge to him. He replied: “Not guilty, deny everything.”

Frank Murphy (58), a brother of Laurence Murphy and also of McDonough Caravan Park, Triton Road, Bettystown, Co Meath, is charged with the murder of Mr Butterly at the same time and place.

He is also charged with possession of a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol with the intent to commit murder and the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition on March 6th, 2013.

He is also charged with membership of the IRA.

Det Garda Tracey Brennan of Laytown Garda station told the court that when she charged Mr Murphy with membership at his address at 6.50am this morning, as well as with gun and ammunition possession, Mr Murphy replied: “I’m not a member of the IRA.”

‘All rubbish’

The court was also told that when the charges were read to Mr Murphy in the confines of the court, after the murder charge was put to him, he replied: “All rubbish. All lies.”

Mr Murphy, who appeared before the court wearing a dark green T-shirt, stood as requested when the court registrar read the charge sheet to him. He replied: “All bulls**t, all lies.”

Ray Kennedy (38), of Whitestown Drive, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 is charged with IRA membership on the same date.

Det Garda Ronan Judge of the Special Detective Unit told the three-judge court he arrested Mr Kennedy at the front door of his home in Blanchardstown at 6.40am this morning (Friday) under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and brought him to Finglas Garda station. Mr Kennedy made no reply after he was cautioned, he said.

Mr Kennedy, who was dressed in a blue and grey stripped T-shirt, refused to stand when requested to do so by the registrar, who read over his charge to him.

All four men were remanded in custody to appear at the Special Criminal Court on September 14th. None of the arresting gardaí were in possession of warrants at the time of the arrests this morning, the court heard.