Court to rule on warrant validity in IRA membership trial

The Special Criminal Court will give its ruling next week on an application by defence challenging the validity of the arrest and subsequent detention of one of five men accused of membership of an unlawful organisation.

The Special Criminal Court will give its ruling next week on an application by defence challenging the validity of the arrest and subsequent detention of one of five men accused of membership of an unlawful organisation.

Three men from Cork and two from Limerick have denied membership of an illegal organisation.

The five men are Ciaran O' Dwyer, aged 50, of Castletroy View, Limerick, John Murphy, aged 25, of Ashburton House, Kilbarry, Old Mallow Road, Cork, Ultan Larkin, aged 34, of The Bungalow, Farranshone, Limerick, Gerard Varian, aged 46, of Bride Valley View, Fairhill, Cork and Aidan O'Driscoll, aged 25, of Glenheights Park, Ballyvolane, Cork.

They have all pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself as Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on December 15, 2003.

Counsel for Varian, Mr Fergal Kavanagh SC, submitted to the court that the arrest and detention of his client was unlawful due to the validity of the warrant for his arrest.

Mr John Edwards SC, prosecuting, said: “It is my respectful submission that the warrant is valid.”

Superintendent John Quilter, who arrested Varian, showed the accused the warrant. “He declined to read the warrant,” Mr Edwards said.

The court is expected to rule on the validity or the warrant and arrest next Tuesday.

The trial continues.

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