A Louth construction worker was handed down a five-year prison term for INLA membership by the Special Criminal Court today.
Anthony Lee (aged 33) of Carnbeg, Doylesfort Road, Dundalk was convicted of the offence on October 28 last after an eight-day trial.
Lee, who is set to become a father in February, was one of two men arrested when the car in which he was a passenger tried to drive through a garda roadblock in Dundalk on December 20, 2007.
A search of the car’s boot revealed two bags, containing garda uniforms, two bulletproof jackets and two black bomber jackets, emblazoned with an assault rifle logo and “Republican Socialist Movement Dundalk” on the back.
Detective Superintendent Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Special Detectives Unit, told the sentencing hearing today that the men were being observed as part of an investigation into the activities of the INLA.
During the trial, Chief Superintendent Patrick McGee said it was his belief that Lee was a “member of an illegal organisation, namely the INLA”.
The three-judge court, Mr Justice Paul Butler presiding, sentenced Lee to five years in jail to date from November 25 last.