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Dublin man found guilty of IRA membership

Ryan Glennon of Macken Villas, Macken St, Dublin
Ryan Glennon of Macken Villas, Macken St, Dublin

A Dublin man has been convicted of IRA membership in the first trial at the new Special Criminal Court sitting in Dublin.

Ryan Glennon (25), of Macken Villas, Macken St, Dublin had pleaded not guilty to membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on May 13, 2015.

The three-judge court today (FRI) found him guilty having heard evidence  from Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan that he believed, based on confidential information, that  Glennon was an IRA member.

Justice Robert Eagar, presiding with Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain and Judge James Faughnan, said that the accused man's refusal to answer questions relating to the investigation during interviews with gardai was "supportive and corroborative" of the claims made by the Chief Superintendent.

Mr Justice Eagar said that the judges are allowed to make inferences based on refusals to answer material questions. He added that there is "no other inference" from his refusal but that he is a member of the IRA.

He said gardai asked him a number of questions, including was he a member of the IRA, was he involved in IRA activity and why his fingerprints and DNA were found in a house in Courtown, Dublin that contained Semtex explosive, rockets and materials that would be used in making improvised explosive devices. Glennon did not answer any of these questions.

He said the evidence was also supported by testimony from members of the National Surveillance Unit, who said they saw  Glennon in the house in Courtown where the explosives were discovered, four days before the garda raid. Gardai raided the house on May 13, 2015.

Justice Eagar also outlined physical evidence that placed  Glennon at the scene and connected him to the explosives found there.  Glennon's fingerprints were found on a handcart which was holding a water butt, which was used to store explosive materials. He also pointed to evidence that  Glennon's DNA was found on a pair of gloves found in the kitchen, where more explosive materials were located.

He said the court was satisfied that  Glennon was guilty of IRA membership. Mr Justice Eagar remanded Mr Glennon in custody until November 21 for sentencing.

It was first trial at the second Special Criminal Court which became operational earlier this year because of a two year delay in cases coming to trial at the original non jury court.