Pensioner from Foxrock jailed for being in IRA
A 68-year-old Dublin man has been sentenced to three years in prison for IRA membership.
Barry Fitzpatrick, with addresses at Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, and Brighton Lodge, Foxrock, was convicted of IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court last December.
The father-of-eight, who represented himself during his trial, had denied membership of an illegal organisation styling itself on the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on January 4, 2009.
During the trial, Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan 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.
The non-jury court also heard evidence that Fitzpatrick, a former member of the army who has four previous convictions, failed to answer material questions put to him in interview.
Presiding 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 and impose a sentence of three years.
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.
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 with 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 Detective Unit and found to contain two ME .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 at the Ramparts at 10pm, a man emerged carrying a hold-all.
It was found to contain five revolvers identical to the kind uncovered during the search of the green Honda Civic car.