Defence object to legality of arrest of man accused of IRA membership

The Special Criminal Court trial of a Dublin man accused of IRA membership has heard a day of legal argument.

Defence lawyers at the trial of Vincent Banks (47), who the prosecution allege purchased the car from which Northern Irish prison officer David Black was shot dead, are objecting to the legality of the accused man's arrest.

Mr Black, a 52-year-old father of two, was killed on November 1st 2012. He was driving to work at Maghaberry prison when the incident occurred.

David Black

Mr Banks, of Smithfield Gate Apartments in Dublin 7 has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on December 18, 2012.

Padraig Dwyer SC, for Mr Banks, told the three-judge, non-jury court that his client was challenging the legality of his arrest.

Evidence was heard today as part of a voir dire - or 'trial within a trial' - to help the judges determine the matter.

The legal argument will resume on Monday in front of Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Gerard Haughton.

Vincent Banks


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