A Special Detective Unit garda has said he did not see any alleged attempts to extract a Louth man accused of IRA membership through a car window during his arrest.
Detective Garda Paul Cornish, of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), was responding to a suggestion by Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, that there had been attempts made to remove the accused Michael Connolly (44) through a Fiat Punto’s window.
Det Gda denied that the word “extracted” in his statement meant something more than opening the car door, saying he had been “facing forward” as driver of an unmarked garda vehicle and didn’t see Mr Connolly exit the Punto.
Mr Connolly, of Grange Drive in Dundalk, County Louth, has pleaded not guilty at the Special Criminal Court to membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on December 16th, 2014.
It is the prosecution’s case that the accused was observed by gardai driving in convoy along the road with a man who was later found with two improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Det Gda Cornish told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that he had been briefed about alleged IRA activities involving the movement of firearms and explosives in December 2014.
The detective said he was driving an unmarked garda car when he and colleagues stopped two vehicles travelling in convoy on the Ardee Road on December 16, 2014.
He reiterated under cross examination that the word “extracted” had the same meaning as “taken out of” or “removed from” in his understanding.
The non-jury trial resumes on Monday in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge John O’Hagan and Judge Flann Brennan.
With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisioner News.