Judge's illness halts trial of alleged RIRA members

The trial of three alleged Real IRA members arrested after a major garda surveillance organisation against the dissident terrorist organisation was adjourned today until next week due to the illness of a judge at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

The trial of three alleged Real IRA members arrested after a major garda surveillance organisation against the dissident terrorist organisation was adjourned today until next week due to the illness of a judge at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, told defence counsel for the three accused that Judge Michael Reilly is in hospital but will be available to sit at the trial next Tuesday. The trial was adjourned until next Tuesday.

The court has been told that members of the Special Detective Unit and the Crime and Security Branch were involved in the four day surveillance operation on the alleged Real IRA members.

Prosecuting counsel Mr Tom O' Connell SC told the court that detectives found eight timer devices which could have ``both a legitimate and sinister purpose'' in a bag in the boot of a car they stopped outside Edgeworthstown in Co Longford.

Adrian Kirwan,25, a native of Ballymun in Dublin, with an address at Ardilaun Green, Ballymahon Road, Mullingar, Co Westmeath and Colum Wiggins,24, of Annagry, Letterkenny, Co Donegal each pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on December 5th last year.

Sean Connolly,26, of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, Dublin denied membership of an illegal organisation on December 14.

Mr O' Connell said that the men were alleged to be members of the faction of the IRA known as the Real IRA.

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