'No hesitation' as judge rejects IRA suspect's bail application
A Dublin man accused of IRA membership has been refused bail by the Special Criminal Court after gardai claimed concerns about the possibility of him interfering with witnesses was a "real concern".
Kevin Braney was arrested last week by gardai investigating the activities of dissident republicans.
Mr Braney, of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation on August 2.
Objecting to the accused's bail application, Detective Inspector Nigel Mulready, of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), told prosecuting counsel Fiona Murphy that, if released, Mr Braney would be a flight risk.
Another reason for objection, the court heard, was the detective's fear that the accused would interfere with witnesses.
The court also heard evidence from Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Maguire, who said that his objection was based on Section 2A of the Bail Act.
The section allows a Chief Superintendent to give evidence that the refusal of bail is necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Gerard Haughton, said the court was satisfied that the possibility of Mr Braney interfering with prospective witnesses in the case was a "very live and real concern".
"On that ground alone," the judge said, "the court is disposed to refuse bail."
Referring to the Chief Superintendent's objection, Mr Justice Hunt said that, in this instance, possible interference with witnesses was also a "significant and real concern".
The judge said that the court had "no hesitation" in refusing bail.
Mr Braney was remanded in custody until October 5, when his case is again listed for mention.
Tony McGillicuddy, defending, asked if that appearance could be via video link from Portlaoise Prison, rather than in person.
Mr Justice Hunt said that, although a video link system had been put into the court, it was a "shambles", so the accused would have to appear in person.
Mr Braney's co-accused, Ciaran Maguire (29), also appeared in court yesterday, but made no bail application.
Mr Maguire, of Kippure Park, Finglas, faces the same charge as Mr Braney on the same date.
He was remanded in custody until August 31, when his case is listed for mention and a bail application is expected.