Man appears in court charged with IRA membership

Brian Kenna (54) arrested in Co Laois as part of Garda inquiry into dissident activity


A Dublin man has appeared before a Sunday sitting of the Special Criminal Court charged with membership of the IRA.

Brian Kenna (54) was arrested in Co Laois on Saturday afternoon by members of the Special Detective Unit as part of an ongoing operation targeting dissident republican activity.

Mr Kenna, of Crumlin Park, Crumlin is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on November 21st, 2015.

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce told State Solicitor Una Duggan he formally arrested the accused in the car park of Portlaoise Garda station at 12.08pm on Sunday.

He said he explained to Mr Kenna the reason for his arrest in ordinary language and cautioned him.

Detective Sergeant Boyce said Mr Kenna replied: “Can you please tell my solicitor, he is outside the gate.”

Mr Kenna, who appeared before the court wearing a black jumper, did not stand as requested when the court registrar read the charge to him.

Ms Duggan told the court that the State were seeking a remand in custody of at least 48 hours.

Counsel for Mr Kenna, Dean Kelly BL, said he was seeking a date next Thursday to enter the case, when it was suggested a bail application might be dealt with.

With regard to an application for legal aid, he said a statement of means had been furnished and there was no objection.

Ms Duggan confirmed gardaí had sight of the statement and there was no objection to legal aid.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge William Hamill and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded Mr Kenna in custody with liberty to apply for bail until November 26th.