IRA man sentenced to 3 years

A DUNDALK man has been jailed for three years and nine months at the Special Criminal Court for IRA membership.

A DUNDALK man has been jailed for three years and nine months at the Special Criminal Court for IRA membership.

Barry O’Brien, aged 38, from Mountain Court, Dundalk, was convicted in December last year of membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on April 6, 2004.

During the trial, garda forensic witnesses told the court they were “satisfied” O’Brien’s fingerprints were found on items seized from a car in Dublin in 2003, in which firearms were discovered.

The driver was subsequently convicted of IRA membership, while two other men arrested during the operation pleaded guilty to possession of firearms.

The court was also told that books of raffle tickets for “POWs”, walkie-talkies and e6,000 in cash was discovered when gardai searched O’Brien’s house in April 2004.

O’Brien denied these were for IRA fund-raising purposes.

Judge Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Cormac Dunne, said that there was a seven-year gap between the commission of the offence and sentencing as O’Brien had taken judicial review proceedings.

Mr Justice Butler said the appropriate sentence was one of three years and nine months to date from January 1 this year.