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IRA man gives chic Foxrock Village townhouse address

THIS is the exclusive Foxrock Village address claimed by a former soldier convicted of IRA membership.

The neat semi-detached house in the exclusive Brighton Lodge area was raided by gardai in the investigation that led to 68-year-old Barry Fitzpatrick being given a three-year sentence by the Special Criminal Court.

Fitzpatrick, with addresses at Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, as well as Brighton Lodge is a former soldeier and father of eight.

The trial heard how Fitzpatrick was arrested shortly after 10pm on the night of January 4, 2009, as he tried to gain access to an apartment at the Ramparts complex in Loughlinstown, Dublin 18.

For several hours prior to his arrest, detectives had observed Fitzpatrick drive his grey Honda Accord estate car between the Silver Tassie pub in Dublin 18 and the Ramparts apartment complex in the company of two men.

He also drove in convoy and communicated with a green Honda Civic car, which was later stopped and searched by members of the Special Branch and found to contain two ME 0.38 calibre sportwaffen revolvers and ammunition.

Detective Garda Bronagh Brogan told the court that as she arrived to execute a search warrant on an apartment in the Ramparts at 10pm, a man emerged carrying a pink holdall.



REVOLVERS

It was found to contain five revolvers that were identical to the kind uncovered during the search of the Honda Civic.

The Brighton Lodge address lies in a small modern estate of around 30 houses, accessed only by electronic gates.

It backs on to Leopardstown Racecourse and is a short stroll from Foxrock Golf Club.

During the trial, Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan, of Security and Intelligence, told the court he believed Fitzpatrick was an IRA member based on confidential information given to him and affirmed that Fitzpatrick had come to his attention "at every rank" of his 33-year garda career.

His trial heard that Fitzpatrick told gardai in interview that a bodhran that was inscribed with the signatures of former republican inmates of Portlaoise prison, which was found during the search of the Brighton Lodge address, belonged to him.

However, Fitzpatrick declined to answer further questions as to the provenance of the instrument, replying "no answer" to these and other material questions put to him by gardai relating to his membership of the IRA.

Counsel for the State Bernard Condon argued that the bodhran was corroborative of Fitzpatrick's membership of the IRA.

Other items found after the search include an inscribed mirror and the rules and constitution of Republican Sinn Fein.

Judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said that although the court was satisfied that the appropriate sentence was one of four years, by reason of Fitzpatrick's age Mr Justice Butler said the court would reduce this by one year .

hnews@herald.ie