Dublin IRA accused was in car driven by convicted IRA member
on 01/11/2012 17:57:29
Robert Nolan (aged 45) of Elmdale Park, Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on January 11, 2012.
The court heard the accused man was a passenger in a green Ford Mondeo car that was stopped by a marked armed response garda patrol car in the Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city on the afternoon of January 11 last.
Gardaí who searched the vehicle uncovered a Webley revolver in a brown paper bag which had been concealed under the front passenger seat where the accused man was sitting.
Detective Inspector William Hanrahan told Mr Garnet Orange BL, for the State, that the driver of the Ford Mondeo was convicted at the Special Criminal Court of membership of the IRA and sentenced to four years in 2001.
The court also heard evidence that, over the course of nine interviews at Roxboro Road garda station, the accused man denied being an IRA member.
Detective Garda John O'Connell agreed with Mr Orange that the accused man told gardaí he travelled to Limerick with the driver of the car "just for the spin" and did not know why the other man wanted to visit there.
Asked by detectives if he had gone to Limerick to "commit a shooting", the accused man said he did not know anything about the gun found in the car.
Detective Sergeant Donal Prenty agreed with Mr Orange that the accused man told gardaí he was not a member of an illegal organisation and denied that he come to Limerick on an IRA operation.
In an interview where Mr Nolan was informed that a judge or jury could draw certain inferences from his failure or refusal to answer material questions relating to his arrest, the court heard the accused man again told gardaí he was not a member of the IRA and was not in Limerick on IRA business.
Asked if it was his job to source arms and a stolen car to be used in "these operations", the accused man said he was not in the IRA and denied being the "linkman" between the Limerick and Dublin factions of the IRA.
However, asked what his business was in Limerick and if he had any innocent explanation for the presence of the firearm in the car, the accused man told gardaí that on the advice of his solicitor he had nothing to say.
The trial continues.