Politicians' names 'found on IRA documents'

06/10/2004 - 16:32:07

The names of three former Justice Ministers were on an alleged IRA document found by gardaí in the home of a Dublin man accused of IRA membership, the Special Criminal Court was told today.

The document contained the names of the late Jim Mitchell, Des O' Malley and John O' Donoghue as well as the names of other politicians, the court heard.

Detective Sergeant Joe Devine said that the document – written on a cigarette paper - was headed "Politicians". It listed Fine Gael's Jim Mitchell, Progressive Democrat Des O' Malley, Fianna Fáil's John O' Donoghue and said "drinking in Rathgar".

It went on to list "Jim Mc Daid, Donegal, Fianna Fáil and Brendan 'Rambo' Mc Gahon, Fine Gael" and added: "backing horses in Paddy Powers just off Grafton St., Lemon St, just off Bewley's café".

The detective sergeant said the document was found in a small briefcase during a search of the home of Niall Binead, one of two Dublin men on trial for IRA membership.

Prosecuting counsel Mr George Birmingham SC said that the prosecution viewed the document `"as an IRA document".

Niall Binead, also known as Niall Bennett (aged 35) of Faughart Road, Crumlin, and Kenneth Donohoe (aged 26) of Sundale Avenue, Mountain View, Tallaght, have pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na héireann, otherwise the IRA on October 10, 2002.

Det Sgt Devine told the court that during a series of interviews about his alleged IRA membership, Binead remained silent. Binead remained silent when asked if he was "gathering intelligence on elected members of Dáil Eireann in his capacity as an active intelligence officer of the IRA".

The detective sergeant said that the contents of other documents found in the briefcase were also put to Binead, who again remained silent.

The court ruled that details of the other documents, including names, addresses, phone numbers and activities should not be published, but made no such ruling in relation to public representatives.

The court has heard that Binead and Donohoe were arrested following the arrest of five men who were seen acting suspiciously by an off-duty detective garda in Bray, Co Wicklow, on October 10, 2002. Donohoe was arrested later that month and Binead was arrested in December of that year.

Gardaí recovered a sledgehammer, pick axe handles, radios, a balaclava and ties from a transit van and a stun gun and a CS gas canister from a car following the arrest of the five men in Bray.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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