Five men have appeared before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin charged in connection with an investigation into dissident republican activity in the Louth area.
The men, arrested last Sunday, were remanded in custody to appear before the three-judge court again next Tuesday.
Eamon Lennon (34), of Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, Barry O'Brien (38), with an address at Stonetown, in Dundalk, Co Louth, and Neil Smith (37) and Des Ryan (53), both with addresses at Tubberfinn, Donore, in Drogheda, Co Louth, were yesterday charged with membership of an illegal organisation, namely the IRA, on August 8.
Lennon, O'Brien and Ryan were further charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm at separate locations in Dundalk last Sunday.
A fifth man, Paul Maguire (24), of Drumleek South, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, was charged with unlawfully having a sawn-off shotgun at Dundalk's Ecco Road on the same date.
At the Special Criminal Court, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunn was told that Barry O'Brien, who appeared in court with cuts and bruising to his head, had been hospitalised following his arrest for “pronounced injuries that required stitches”.
Lawyers representing O'Brien said their client “wanted to be clear” he was alleging he had been assaulted at the time of his arrest.
O'Brien denied being a member of the IRA.
Bail applications will follow.