Seven Dublin men charged with membership of illegal organisation

Men brought before special sitting of Special Criminal Court


Seven men were charged with IRA membership at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court last night.

The Dublin men were all charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on Wednesday last July 3rd.

The seven men charged were Peter Burns (39) of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght; Kevin Braney (39) also of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght; Michael Barr (33) of Carlton Court, Poppintree, Ballymun; Brian Nick McBennett (54) of Ard Collum Avenue, Artane; John Brock (41) of Glenview Park, Tallaght; Declan Phelan (31) of Lanndale Lawns, Tallaght; and Desmond Christie (49) of Liam Mellows Road, Finglas.

The non-jury court heard details of arrest, charge and caution from the seven different detectives who had arrested the accused men this evening. The court heard that all but two of the men made no reply to the charge.

Detective Garda Graham Dunne testified that when he put the charge to Michael Barr, Mr Barr denied membership.

“I’m not a member of the IRA or any illegal organisation,” he replied when shown his charge sheet before the court sat.

Detective Garda Nicky Conneely gave evidence that Brian Nick McBennett also denied the charge when put to him.

“I am not a member,” he replied when shown his charge sheet.

The registrar asked each of the men to stand while he read the charge to them. None of them did so.

Mr Justice Paul Butler presiding remanded all seven in custody to appear before the three-jury court again this Tuesday, July 9th.