A detective garda patrolling north Dublin said he drove to Bray Garda Station out of "boredom" on the night a group of men were arrested under suspicious circumstances, the Special Criminal Court heard today in the trial of five men accused of membership of an illegal organisation.
The five Dublin men have pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself as the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 11, 2002.
They are Thomas Gilson (aged 24), of Bawnlea Avenue, Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin; Patrick Brennan (aged 40), of Lindisfarne Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin; Sean O'Donnell (aged 32), of Castle Drive, Sandymount, Dublin; John Troy (aged 22), of Donard Avenue, Dublin, and Stephen Birney (aged 30), of Conquerhill Road, Clontarf, Dublin.
The court today heard evidence relating to the detention of the men on the night they were arrested.
Detective Garda Damien Ryan of the Special Detective Unit arrived at Bray Garda Station, where the men were being detained, around 3am on the night.
Defence counsel Paul Burns SC, for O'Donnell, asked Det Gda Ryan: "So, you crossed all the way from the north side of the city to satisfy a curiosity that could have been satisfied by a phone call?"
"I could've phoned," Det Gda Ryan replied. "But I was bored so I drove out," he added.
After the defence counsel's cross-examination, Judge Joseph Matthews asked Det Gda Ryan: "You said that nothing much was happening on the north side and that you were bored. Is that a reason to go to Bray?"
"Yeah, because I killed half an hour or so," Det Gda Ryan said.
The court has heard that when the five men were arrested in Bray, gardaí recovered a CS gas canister, a stun gun, pick axe handles, balaclavas and a fake garda jacket.
The trial continues tomorrow.