Man accused of IRA membership given bail by Special Criminal Court

Man accused of IRA membership given bail by Special Criminal Court

Two Sligo men accused of IRA membership have been granted bail by the Special Criminal Court today.

The men, arrested in Co Leitrim by local gardai as part of an operation targeting dissident republican activity, were charged earlier this month before an out-of-term sitting of the non-jury court.   

Damhan McFadden (27) of Kilmacowen, Ballysadare and Julian Flohr (35) of Rusheen Ard, Caltra, both in County Sligo, are charged with membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on August 14th. 

The two accused men were granted bail today after the court earlier refused to impose a bail condition that would have required the men notify gardai every time they left their home county. 

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce told State Solicitor, Mr Michael O’Donovan, that gardai believed the requirement was necessary to monitor the men as they lived on the “far side” of the country and had been charged with a serious terrorist offence. 

However counsel for Mr Flohr, Mr Seoirse O’Dunlaing BL, told the court that the usual conditions for bail sufficiently met any requirements gardai may have.

Mr John Dunne BL, for Mr McFadden, submitted that the issue may be resolved by a requirement that his client keep a phone on him at all times, and that phone to be kept in charge and credit. 

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the court found the way to proceed was to require the men sign-on twice daily at their local garda station and to keep a mobile phone on their person at all times, with that phone to be in credit and answered at any time.

Mr Justice Hunt said the court was not minded to impose the notification requirement.

Mr O’Donovan said there was consent to bail along the lines suggested by the court. 

With regard to Mr Flohr, Mr O’Donovan said there was consent to release the accused man on his own bond of €120 and on an independent surety.

He said that there was consent to bail for Mr McFadden on his own bond of €4,000 and in independent surety of €7,000. 

Both men must sign on twice daily at Sligo Garda Station between 11am and 12pm and 6pm and 7pm, reside at their home addresses and observe a curfew between 11pm and 7am. 

They are not to leave the jurisdiction and were directed to surrender their passports and not apply for any new travel documentation.

The men cannot contact any proposed prosecution witnesses in the case and are not to associate with their co-accused nor anyone convicted of or charged with a scheduled offence.

Mr O’Donovan said the accused are also not to attend any republican commemorations or gatherings.

The men are to be of good behaviour and keep the peace and must provide mobile phone numbers to gardai and ensure that these phones are kept on their person and charged at all times.

Mr Justice Hunt, sitting with Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain and Judge James Faughnan, remanded both men in custody with consent to bail on those terms.