Court dismisses appeal of convicted IRA man

The Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed a Dublin man's bid to have his appeal against his conviction for IRA membership heard by the Supreme Court.

The three-judge Court of Criminal Appeal with Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan presiding, sitting with Mr Justice Herbert and Mr Justice John MacMenamin today ruled that the case of Vincent Kelly (23) did not raise a point of law of exceptional public importance which required Supreme Court determination.

Kelly of Empress Place, Ballybough was jailed for five years following his conviction for membership of an illegal organisation, namely the IRA, before the Special Criminal Court in June 2006. Kelly denied the charge.

During his trial, a Detective Chief Superintendent gave evidence that Kelly, who was 20 years old at the time, had joined the IRA as a teenager. The Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed Kelly's appeal.

Yesterday, Mr Michael Bowman BL for the defence, said the application before the court hinged on three points of law, including whether or not the belief of a Chief Superintendent is still applicable in a case such as Kelly’s, having regard to the European Convention on Humans Rights.

The DPP opposed the application.

In its judgment the CCA dismissed the arguments put forward by defence counsel, holding that the criteria for allowing such an application had not been met.

He is due to be released from prison early next year.


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