Suspected IRA member given bail

A Dublin man facing two separate charges of membership of an illegal organisation was freed on bail by the Special Criminal Court today.

A Dublin man facing two separate charges of membership of an illegal organisation was freed on bail by the Special Criminal Court today.

Colm Maguire (aged 31), of O' Moore Road, Ballyfermot was charged last month with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on August 23 last.

Maguire is due to stand trial next February on a separate charge of membership of an illegal organisation on October 10, 2003.

Detective Inspector Chris Kelly, of the Special Detective Unit, opposed bail and said he believed Maguire would not turn up for his trial if granted bail. The Detective Inspector also said that he believed that Maguire would continue his membership of a dissident republican terrorist group if given bail.

Maguire’s counsel Mr Diarmaid Mc Guinness SC told the court that his client had originally been charged with firearms and membership offences in 2003 but had been acquitted of the firearms charges last July.

He said that Maguire had spent fourteen months in custody before being given bail by the Supreme Court in October 2004. Mr Mc Guinness said that during his trial for firearms offences Maguire had attended court and had honoured his bail conditions.

He said that he had been granted bail for the membership charge relating to October 2003 in his own bond of €150 and an independent surety of €20,000.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said that the court accepted Detective Inspector Kelly’s evidence but there was a presumption of innocence and Maguire was entitled to that. The court granted Maguire bail on the same conditions as previously laid down by the Supreme Court.

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