Eight accused dissidents granted legal aid

Eight men accused of membership of the IRA have been granted legal aid at the Special Criminal Court.

A number of Dublin men charged with membership of the IRA have been granted bail and free legal aid by the Special Criminal Court.

It follows the arrest of eight men on Good Friday after a search of a commercial premises in Clondalkin as part of an on-going garda investigation in to the activities of dissident republicans.

All eight were then brought before an Easter Sunday sitting of the non –jury Special Criminal Court.

Kevin Braney (aged 38), Des Christie (aged 49), Eamon McNamee (aged 32), John Brock (aged 40), Darren Murphy (aged 42), Declan Phelan (aged 31), William Jackson (aged 53) and Hubert Duffy (aged 45) were charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on March 29 last.

The eight men were back before a packed court today, where five were granted bail and all eight were granted free legal aid with no objection from the State.

Mr Duffy of George’s Place in Dublin 1, Mr Jackson of Dooncourt in Poppintree, Mr Phelan of Lanndale Lawns in Tallaght, Mr Brock of Glenview Park in Tallaght, and Mr Murphy of Rory O’Connor House in Dublin 1 were all granted bail on a number of conditions.

Each of them must provide an independent surety of €20,000 and sign their own bonds of €1,000 each. They must sign on daily at their local garda stations, keep a curfew between midnight and 7am, keep their mobile phones on, surrender their passports and travel documents, remain in the jurisdiction and keep the peace.

They must also not contact any prosecution witness, associate with anyone charged with or convicted of a scheduled offence, or with each other except in the presence of their legal teams for consultation.

The court was told that Mr Duffy and Mr Murphy were connected through marriage and lived near each other.

Michael Bowman BL, defending Mr Murphy said that the Gardaí had agreed to exercise discretion if they met each other on the street.

However, he said they could not be in one another’s houses at the same time or go drinking together.

There was laughter in court when the barrister added that they could not play golf together.

The court heard that there would be no objection to the other three men being granted bail on similar conditions. Both Mr Christie of Liam Mellows Road in Finglas and Mr Braney of Glenshane Crescent in Tallaght indicated that they would apply for bail at a later date.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge William Hamill, remanded all to appear again on April 30 to hear when the book of evidence would be ready.

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