IRA membership trial adjourned after accident

The trial of five Dublin men charged with IRA membership was adjourned until next year by the Special Criminal Court today after the court heard that a key prosecution witness in the case was recently involved in a serious car accident.

The trial of five Dublin men charged with IRA membership was adjourned until next year by the Special Criminal Court today after the court heard that a key prosecution witness in the case was recently involved in a serious car accident.

The five men who were arrested in Bray last year were due to go on trial at the court next Tuesday.

But today, prosecuting counsel Mr George Birmingham SC said that one of the prosecution witnesses had recently been involved in a very serious car accident and had suffered head injuries.

Mr Birmingham said the witness, one of two gardaí who came upon the accused in a van in Bray, was one of the investigating gardaí and his witness statement ran to sixteen pages.

Mr Justice Finnegan, presiding, said that in the circumstances the court remanded the five men on continuing bail and fixed November 30th next year as the new trial date.

The five men before the court are Thomas Gilson (aged 23), of Bawnlea Avenue, Jobstown, Tallaght, Patrick Brennan (aged 39), of Lindisfarne Avenue, Clondalkin, Sean O' Donnell (aged 31), of Castle Drive, Sandymount, Stephen Birney (aged 29), of Conquerhill Road, Clontarf and John Troy (aged 21), of Donard Avenue, Dublin.

They are charged with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on October 11, 2002.

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