A Garda Superintendent told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that a search warrant was issued for a house in Limerick city where seven men accused of membership of an illegal organisation were arrested after he briefed another senior garda officer in the city.
Superintendent Gerard Mahon said that he directed three detectives to monitor the movements of two men, Des Long and Patrick O'Shea , on December 17, 2001 and he met Superintendent Anthony Kennelly at Henry St Garda Station at 7.30 pm that night.
He said he briefed Superintendent Kennelly who then issued a search warrant under the Offences Against the State Act for a search of a house at Shanabooly Road in the Ballynanty area of Limerick.
Superintendent Mahon, who was then a Detective Inspector, said he then briefed a large party of gardai on the information he had to hand and on the operational requirements to carry out the search.
The court has heard that seven men were arrested when a large party of gardai raided a house in the Shanabooly Road area of Limerick in December 2001.
Prosecuting counsel Mr John Edwards SC has told the court that gardai found a note in the house which referred to firearms and had other references to a person "wanted for knee cap job" and to a "safe house".
He said the unlawful organisation in the case was the Continuity IRA. Chief Superintendent Gerard Kelly gave evidence earlier that, in his opinion, each of the seven accused was a member of an unlawful organisation on December 17 2001.
The seven accused have pleaded not guilty to a charge that on December 17, 2001, within the State, they were members of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann.
They are Des Long (aged 62), Vice President of Republican Sinn Fein, of Shannon Banks, Limerick, Patrick Kenneally (aged 58), of Crusheen, Co Clare, Patrick O'Shea(54) of Sir Harry's Mall, Limerick, Gerard ``Ger'' Brommell (aged 43), of Rostura Crescent, Woodview Park, Limerick, Robert Mc Namara (aged 59), of St Michael's Avenue, Tipperary, Joseph ''Tiny'' Lynch (aged 61), of Beechgrove Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick and Christopher Dunne (aged 28), of Donnellan Buildings, Rosbrien, Limerick.
Cross examined by Mr Donagh Mc Donagh SC for Kenneally, Superintendent Mahon said that he was not present when Superintendent Kennelly signed the search warrant but he identified his signature on it.
Cross examined by Mr Martin Giblin SC , for O'Shea, the Superintendent said that he did not become aware until two days after the garda raid on the house at Shanabooly Road that two other men had been in the house just before the garda operation. He said he did not know who the two men were and had tasked Detective Sergeant PJ Walsh to find out.
Superintendent Mahon denied a suggestion by Mr Giblin that there may have been a reason why he did not want to know the identities of the two men.
Cross examined by Mr Peter Finlay SC for Brommell, the Superintendent refused to disclose the source of his information.
Mr Finlay asked the court to rule on the issue and the court will hear further submissions on the issue tomorrow.