Religious pictures found in car of man accused of IRA membership

A bottle of holy water and religious pictures were found alongside ammunition in the car of a Dundalk man accused of IRA membership, the Special Criminal Court was told today.

A bottle of holy water and religious pictures were found alongside ammunition in the car of a Dundalk man accused of IRA membership, the Special Criminal Court was told today.

Det Gda Michael O'Driscoll was giving evidence on the first day of the trial of Seamus Mc Mahon (aged 38) of Ashbrook, Dundalk, who has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 7, 2004.

Det Gda O’Driscoll said he found the religious items in the glove compartment of the accused’s car when he was conducting a search as part of the crime scene investigation.

In her opening for the prosecution, Ms Mary Ellen-Ring SC said that gardaí following Mr McMahon on the day of the alleged offence found 10 bullets (9 mm) wrapped in socks in the driver's door pocket of the car in which he was travelling.

The accused's son and wife were in the car when he was stopped at a roundabout on the M1 outside Dundalk.

Ms Ring said the court would hear evidence from Chief Supt Patrick McGee stating his belief that the accused was a member of the IRA and that the accused was seen in the company of other people convicted of subversive offences.

The trial presiding at the three-judge court continues tomorrow.

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