Belfast Telegraph

Bail refused for dissident suspect

A father-of-five accused of possessing a firearm and of IRA membership has been refused bail.

The Special Criminal Court in Dublin's Parkgate Street, rejected a bail application by Louth man Barry O'Brien, ruling that it would be “inappropriate” as he is due to go on trial later this year for an alleged offence dating back to 2004.

A senior Garda Special Branch detective told the three-judge court yesterday that O'Brien (38), of Stonetown, Dundalk, was “out on bail” in respect of this charge, concerning membership of an illegal organisation, when he was arrested earlier this month by gardai investigating dissident republican activity.

O'Brien was brought before the Special Criminal Court on August 10 last and charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm at a location in Dundalk two days earlier and of membership of an illegal organisation, namely the IRA, on the same date.

Refusing bail at yesterday's court sitting, Ms Justice Alison Lindsay said O'Brien had undertaken to be of good behaviour under the bail conditions set out for the earlier alleged offence, and added that these latest charges were of “a serious nature”.

O'Brien was remanded in custody until November 16, the date on which his trial is due to start.

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