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Man accused of IRA membership gets bail

CourtsBy Sunday World
Devlin will also be tried next year for the unlawful possession of the explosive substance in Dublin
Devlin will also be tried next year for the unlawful possession of the explosive substance in Dublin

A man accused of IRA membership and possessing explosives at Finnstown House Hotel has been granted bail at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Samuel Devlin, who is originally from Northern Ireland but has lived in Dublin for a number of years, was charged before the non-jury court in May last year after his arrest by members of the Special Detective Unit.

Sinead Prunty BL told the court today that her client was applying to the court for compassionate bail, to return to Northern Ireland to visit his mother, who is terminally ill. 

Mr Devlin was granted ten days' compassionate bail by the High Court in August, the court heard.  

Detective Inspector Anthony Lenehan, of the Special Detective Unit, told the court that gardai have concerns that, if granted bail, Mr Devlin would not appear before the Special Criminal Court for trial.

Mr Devlin, with an address at Golf Suite, Finnstown House Hotel, Lucan, Co Dublin will be tried next year for the unlawful possession of the explosive substance Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) at the same address on May 11, 2014.

He will also be tried for membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on May 11, 2014.  

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said that the court Detective Inspector Lenehan's objection to bail "very seriously."

He also said that Mr Devlin returned after his previous period of bail, granted by the High Court in August, despite the flight risk.

He further stated that the court was bound by the order made by the High Court in August. 

That order was made "in similar circumstances" to today's application, Mr Justice Butler said. 

The bail conditions handed down by the court state that Mr Devlin must sign a bail bond of 1000euro, not commit any offences, be on good behaviour, be available on a landline telephone number provided in advance to gardai, reside at an address agreed with the Gardai, observe a curfew between 10pm and 7am, and to make himself available to the PSNI should to wish to call on him. 

By Daniel Hickey