A Garda Superintendent told the Special Criminal Court today that 27 uniformed and plain-clothed gardaí took part in a swoop on a house in Limerick city where gardaí believed a meeting of the Continuity IRA was taking place.
Superintendent Gerard Mahon said that 22 plain clothes gardai and five uniformed gardaí raided the house at Shanabooly Road on the evening of December 17, 2001.
He said that the gardaí arrived at the house in seven vehicles, which included two vans and some of the vehicles were marked and some unmarked.
Superintendent Mahon, who was then a Detective Inspector, said that he was in overall charge of the garda operation.
Cross examined by Mr Louis O' Brien SC, for the accused Robert Mc Namara, Superintendent Mahon said that the garda vehicles kept radio silence before the raid in accordance with normal practice.
Cross examined by Mr Brendan Nix SC, for the accused Joseph Lynch, Superintendent Mahon said that before he had sought a search warrant from Superintendent Kennelly for the house at Shanabooly Road he had received verbal reports from Detective Sergeant PJ Walsh about a surveillance operation on some of the accused.
The court has heard that seven men were arrested when a large party of gardaí raided a house in the Shanabooly Road area of Limerick in December 2001.
Prosecuting counsel Mr John Edwards SC has told the court that gardaí 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 in the trial that in his opinion, each of the seven accused was a member of an unlawful organisation on December 17 2001.
It was the tenth day of the trial of the seven accused who 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, aged 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.
The trial is continuing.