Saturday 19 April 2014

IRA suspect gets bail despite gardai's fears

A 45-year-old man who was charged with IRA membership and possession of ammunition has been granted bail at the Special Criminal Court despite the objections of gardai.

Stephen Hendrick of Balbutcher Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 11, was arrested at a yard in Cloghran by members of the Special Detective Unit and the Crime and Security Section earlier this month as part of ongoing investigations into dissident republican activity in Dublin.

At an out-of-hours sitting of the Special Criminal Court, Hendrick was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on July 3.

He was also charged with possession of ammunition in suspicious circumstances on the same date at Furry Park, Turnapin Great, Old Airport Road, Cloghran, in Co Dublin.

Counsel for the State, Garnet Orange, told the non-jury court that gardai were objecting to bail because of the circumstances of the accused's arrest and the seriousness of the charges laid against him.


However, presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court was satisfied that bail should be granted, as for bail to be refused the accused man would have to pose a flight risk or a risk of witness interference, while there was also no objection to bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act, 1997.

He said that bail would be set on two independent sureties of €43,000 and €20,000, and on Hendrick's own bond of €100.

Mr Justice Butler said that the accused must abide by a number of conditions, including signing on daily at Ballymun Garda Station between 9am and 9pm and living at his home address.

Hendrick must observe a curfew between midnight and 7am, must surrender his passport and cannot apply for any new travel documentation nor leave the jurisdiction, which includes travel to Northern Ireland.

Mr Justice Butler said the accused must provide a mobile phone number to gardai and ensure that this phone is in operation at all times.

The accused man also cannot contact any proposed prosecution witness in the case or associate with anyone charged with or convicted of a scheduled offence.



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