A Waterford man was given a four-year suspended prison sentence for INLA membership by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.
John O’Donoghue, (aged 28), of Clonard Park, Ballybeg, Co Waterford was convicted after a trial in January last year but sentence was adjourned to allow the court to consider his behaviour.
He had pleaded not guilty to membership of the INLA on June 18, 2007.
Today Detective Sergeant David Walsh said that O’ Donoghue has not come to adverse garda attention since his conviction and had observed all the terms of his bail.
He said that O’ Donoghue had been arrested after gardaí found two replica firearms, duct tape, balaclavas and English car number plates in the attic of his former family home.
The detective sergeant said that O’ Donoghue had become involved in an IRSP cumann which had been set up in Waterford City in 2006. Garda surveillance was mounted on a number of senior INLA members who had attended meetings of the cumann at a pub in the city.
O’ Donoghue told the court in evidence today that since his conviction he has had nothing to do with his former associates.
"I have washed my hands of the lot of them. I want to get on with the future,’’ he said.
Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the three-judge court, said that the court was prepared to give O’ Donoghue a chance because of the exceptional circumstances where he had told the court that he has given up his activities.
The court sentenced him to four years' imprisonment suspended for four years on condition that he does not associate with anyone charged with or convicted of a scheduled offence.