Supt claims privilege in C-IRA trial evidence

A Garda Chief Superintendent claimed privilege at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today when questioned over the source of his belief a Limerick man was a member of the Continuity IRA.

A Garda Chief Superintendent claimed privilege at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today when questioned over the source of his belief a Limerick man was a member of the Continuity IRA.

Chief Superintendent Gerry Kelly was repeatedly questioned by Ms Grainne McMorrow SC, counsel for Timothy King, about the source of his information which grounded his belief that King was a CIRA member in June last year.

The Chief Superintendent claimed privilege and said the source of his information was "confidential and sensitive".

King, aged 27, of Clarina Avenue, Weston, Limerick has pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on June 19, 2003.

The court has heard that King was arrested by Special Branch detectives in a stolen car in the car park of the Coachman's Inn at Cloghran, Co Dublin.

Chief Supt Kelly has told the court that he believed King was a member of an unlawful organisation on June 19 last year.

Cross-examined by Ms McMorrow, Chief Supt Kelly said that he had paid no money from garda funds for the source of his information.

He agreed that he regarded the source as "reliable and well placed".

He claimed privilege when asked if the informant actually knew King and when asked if the informant had ever been charged before a court.

He agreed that King had never been before the Special Criminal Court before and he also agreed that King throughout seven garda interviews had denied membership.

The trial is continuing.

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