‘Hooded Man’ and co-accused granted bail on IRA membership charges

Kevin Hannaway
Kevin Hannaway

Belfast man Kevin Hannaway, one of a group known as the ‘Hooded Men’ who are seeking revision of a controversial judgment on their detention during the troubles, has been granted bail by the Special Criminal Court pending his trial for allegedly assisting the IRA.

Mr Hannaway (67) and four co-accused were arrested on August 8 last as part of an operation targeting dissident republican activity in the Dublin Region, led by the garda Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit and Crime and Security Branch.

He was one of a group of men detained by British security forces during the troubles who are seeking revision of a controversial 1978 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which said their treatment was “inhuman and degrading” but was not torture.

Kevin Hannaway, of Collin Mill, Belfast was charged last Monday, August 10, with knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, whether directly or indirectly in the performance or furtherance of an illegal object on August 7th and 8th, 2015.

His co-accused Edward O’Brien (41), of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin 11, and Eva Shannon (59) of Oakman Street, Belfast are charged with the same offence on the same date.

David Nooney (52) of Coultry Green, Ballymun, Dublin 11, and Seán Hannaway (47) of Linden Gardens, Belfast, are each charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely an organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army on August 8th, 2015.

Detective Garda Connor Morgan told State Solicitor Mr Michael O’Donovan that he formally arrested Kevin Hannaway at Tower Road, Clondalkin Dublin 22 at 2:50pm on Monday August 10.

Det Gda Morgan said that he explained to the accused man the reason for his arrest in ordinary language and cautioned him, to which Mr Hannaway replied: “I understand”.

Kevin Hannaway, along with his co-accused, were each admitted to bail today on consent and on a number of conditions.

All five accused were required to enter into their own bonds of €100 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, to reside at given addressess, observe daily curfews and provide the only mobile phones to be used by them while on bail to gardaí and to keep those devices switched on at all times.

They were also required to undertake not to associate with any persons charged or convicted with a scheduled offence or co-accused save for in the presence of their legal teams and not to contact any proposed prosecution witnesses.

Each accused was required to sign on daily at their local police stations while Kevin Hannaway was required to sign on three times per week.

“Somewhat unusually”, according to Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy, Eva Shannon was required to sign on daily at the PSNI's Grosvenor Road Police Station, Belfast while Seán Hannaway was required to sign on daily at Antrim Road Police Station, Belfast.

Independent sureties of €15,000 for Mr O'Brien and €10,500 for Mr Nooney were present in court. The State sought freezing orders in respect of certain bank accounts so that monies would not be reduced below those amounts.

Cash lodgments of €20,000 each were provided or will be provided for Kevin Hannaway, Seán Hannaway and Eva Shannon. Freezing orders cannot be sought in respect of accounts in Northern Ireland, the court heard.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy, presiding alongside Judge Martin Nolan and Judge William Hamill, admitted all five accused to bail on the terms set out until November 3 when a book of evidence is expected to be served.

None of the accused stood up when the three judges of the non-jury court rose to leave their seats.

A number of the surviving “hooded men” were present in the court's public section for today's bail application.