Accused tells trial he is '100% against violence'

A Limerick man accused of membership of an illegal organisation told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that he was "100% against violence".

A Limerick man accused of membership of an illegal organisation told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that he was "100% against violence".

Ultan Larkin said: "I have nothing to do with the IRA. I am not a member of the IRA, never have been and never plan to be."

Cross-examined by prosecuting counsel Mr John Edwards SC, Larkin added: "I am 100% against violence."

He said he found repeated questioning by gardaí about his alleged membership of an illegal organisation while he was in garda custody "offensive".

"It was the same questions he kept repeating," he said.

Larkin agreed that he had met three others of his co accused - Ciaran O' Dwyer, John Murphy and Gerard Varian - on two occasions on July 13 and September 21, 2003 at a hotel in Charleville, Co Cork but denied that the meetings were anything to do with an illegal organisation.

He was giving evidence on the 17th day of the trial of three Corkmen and two Limerick men who 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 Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on December 15, 2003.

Prosecuting counsel Mr John Edwards SC has said the five men were allegedly members of the Real IRA.

The trial is continuing.

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