Three charged with IRA membership

Three men arrested as part of a garda investigation into dissident republican activity in Co Donegal were charged with IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Desmond Donnelly (aged 57), of Drumall, Lisnarick, Co Fermanagh, Gerard Mc Garrigle (aged 45), of Mount Carmel Heights, Strabane and Jim Murphy, for whom no age or address is available, were each charged with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on February 22 last.

The court heard evidence that the three men were arrested last night at Letterkenny and Milford in Co Donegal on suspicion of membership of an illegal organisation.

Detective Garda Greg Regan, who arrested Mc Garrigle, said that when he was cautioned, Mc Garrigle replied: "I think your laws is up the left and you are a disgrace to the Irish people.''

When he was formally charged, Mc Garrigle replied: "I am not a member of any organisation."

Detective Garda Sean Barrett said that Jim Murphy had declined to give his date of birth or address to gardaí.

The court remanded all three men in custody until March 4 when bail applications are expected to be made.

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