Garda claims confidential source revealed accused was IRA member

A Garda Chief Superintendent told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that she believed a Co Donegal man was an IRA member in 2010.

Chief Superintendent Terry Mc Ginn said that she believed that Philip McGavigan was a member of the IRA on February 2, 2010.

She told the court that her belief was based on confidential information from a source and she added that she did not want to disclose that source.

The court has heard that McGavigan told Gardaí that he had travelled to an isolated rural house, which had been placed under surveillance by armed detectives, to poach deer by lamp light.

McGavigan (aged 50), of Coneyburrow, Lifford has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation, namely the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, on February 2nd last year.

Chief Superintendent McGinn said that she had been attached to the Special Detective Unit and the National Surveillance Unit between 1985 and 1991 investigating the activities of terrorist organisations.

She said that she also investigated terrorist financing when she worked in the money laundering unit after her promotion to Inspector in 1995.

Chief Supt McGinn said that in 2009 Gardaí in Co Donegal targetted an IRA group in the Lifford, Sion Mills and Stranorlar area which was involved in various activities, including tiger kidnappings and shootings.

Cross examined by defence counsel Mr Brian Mc Cartney QC (stet), Chief Supt McGinn claimed privilege in relation to the confidential source who had identified McGavigan as an IRA member.

The trial resumes next Tuesday.

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