Man 'absolutely adamant' he was never in INLA

A man from the North denied at the Special Criminal Court today that he was an INLA member when he was arrested by gardaí investigating a plot to kidnap a Cork businessman.

A man from the North denied at the Special Criminal Court today that he was an INLA member when he was arrested by gardaí investigating a plot to kidnap a Cork businessman.

John Mc Crossan admitted that he was a member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party but said he was "absolutely adamant"’ that he was never an INLA member.

Mc Crossan is one of three men who have denied INLA membership after they were arrested by gardaí in Cork investigating a plot to kidnap a Cork businessman.

Edward McGarrigle (aged 43), Melmont Gardens, Strabane, Co Tyrone, Neil Myles (aged 54), of no fixed abode, and John McCrossan (aged 47), Ballycoleman Estate, Strabane, Co Tyrone have pleaded not guilty to membership the INLA on February 22 last year.

It is the prosecution's case that the four men were involved in a plot to commit a crime at the home of a Cork businessman.

Mc Crossan told his counsel, Mr John Phelan SC, that he had travelled to Cork to help Mc Garrigle, who is confined to a wheelchair, with his wheelchair and to visit Myles, who was also an IRSP member.

He said that he was a voluntary worker in Strabane with Teach na Fáilte, a group that helps republican socialist ex-prisoners and that Mc Garrigle is the cross border co-ordinator of the group.

When it was put to him that the gardaí believe he and Myles were part of an INLA plan to kidnap the Cork businessman, Mc Crossan replied: "That’s not true."

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Ms Mary Ellen Ring SC, Mc Crossan said he could not comment on the Teach na Fáilte website which refers to "republican socialist prisoners of war" on the E 4 landing of Portlaoise Prison in September 2008.

The trial is continuing.

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