Gardaí bugged privite home, IRA membership trial of Kevin Hannaway, Eva Shannon, Edward O’Brien, Sean Hannaway and David Nooney hears

Kevin Hannaway, cousin of Gerry Adams and one of the origional ‘Hooded Men’

Gardai acting on confidential information used surveillance devices to listen to conversations at a private house, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

The trial opened of three people charged with membership of the IRA and two charged with assisting the IRA.

Prosecution counsel, Tara Burns SC, told the three-judge court that the evidence focuses on events at a private residence in Riverwood Park, Castleknock in Dublin on August 7th and 8th 2015.

She said they will hear evidence that the house had recently been vacated by its tenants and was being prepared for new tenants to move in. Someone asked the owner if he could have use of the house for his uncle and nephew for the weekend and the owner agreed.

Counsel said the court would hear of the comings and goings from that house over the two-day period where the five accused were observed by gardai and arrested on August 8th.

Kevin Hannaway (69) of Collin Mill, Belfast has pleaded not guilty to knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, namely with Sean Hannaway, assisting in interviewing persons involved in IRA organised criminal activities, said interviews being directly or indirectly in the furtherance of an unlawful object, at Riverwood Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15 on August 7th and 8th, 2015.

His co-accused Eva Shannon (60) of Oakman Street, Belfast pleaded not guilty to the same offence on the same dates.

Edward O’Brien (42), of Hazelcroft Road, Finglas, Dublin 11, David Nooney (53) of Coultry Green, Ballymun, Dublin 11, and Seán Hannaway (48) of Linden Gardens, Belfast pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely an organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on August 8th, 2015.

The three Belfast-based accused, counsel said, stayed in the house overnight while the other two were seen visiting. Other people visited or were brought to the house.

Mr Nooney, she said, was seen in a car in the vicinity of the house and on August 7 he took items from the boot of his car and brought them in to the house.

Kevin Hannaway, Eva Shannon and Sean Hannaway were seen entering the house carrying bags.

Besides the observations of gardai, Ms Burns said the court would hear evidence of conversations recorded inside the house by surveillance devices placed there after gardai received confidential information. She said these would show that interviews were conducted in the house with two men for the purposes of the furtherance of an unlawful objective.

In relation to Mr Nooney, she said there would be evidence that he is associated with members of an unlawful organisation and in relation to the three charged with membership of the IRA there will be inferences drawn from answers they gave to gardai which amount to a refusal to answer.

A garda chief superintendent will also give evidence that he believes the three were members of an unlawful organisation.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Isobel Kennedy, Justice Robert Haughton and Judge Gerard Griffin.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Damien (DD) McLaughlin trial date to be set January 26th

A TRIAL date is to be set in two weeks’ time for a man charged in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black.

Damien McLaughlin (41), of Kilmascally Road, Dungannon, was due to stand trial last year but breached his bail and absconded from Northern Ireland.

McLaughlin had previously pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting the murder of Mr Black on November 1, 2012, two charges of possessing articles for use in terrorism, two counts of preparation for acts of terrorism and belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.

At Belfast Crown Court today Mr Justice Colton asked why no trial date had yet been set in the case.

Defence barrister Desmond Hutton told the the judge that McLaughlin – who didn’t appear for the brief proceedings – had been “abroad” .

Prosecution counsel Terence Moonney QC said that McLaughlin’s extradition from the Republic had been approved late last year.

The High Court in Dublin made a ruling on December 2 to have the defendant formally extradited back to Northern Ireland.

The prosecution counsel said he had no objections to a defence application to adjourn proceedings for a fortnight to allow for further discussions between McLaughlin and his legal representatives.

Mr Justice Colton said he would list the case for Friday January 26 when a date for trial would be set.

McLaughlin was on bail at an address in west Belfast when he went on the run.

Police called at the address in December 2017 but he could not be found and milk in the fridge was four weeks out of date.

His disappearance while on bail provoked a public outcry from David Black’s family who said they “felt let down and hurt by the justice system”.

Mr Black’s widow Yvonne, daughter Kyra and son Kyle were later visited by the PSNI officer leading the manhunt for McLaughlin, Detective Chief Supt Raymond Murray.

DCS Murray said he had visited the Black family “to offer sincere apologies on behalf of the PSNI for the stress and worry this situation is creating for them” and provided “reassurance of the steps police are taking to locate the whereabouts of Damien McLaughlin”.

The failure by the PSNI to carry out regular bail checks on McLaughlin is currently the subject of a Police Ombudsman investigation.

Following a massive cross border manhunt, McLaughlin was eventually arrested by armed Gardai on March 2 last year while walking along a street in Ramelton, en route to Letterkenny.

He failed to stop his extradition to Northern Ireland with his lawyers telling the High Court in Dublin that he could be “subjected to inhuman and degrading conditions” if he was sent back to Maghaberry prison.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News and the Irish News for the origional story

 

Patrick Kennedy to be sentenced January 22nd on IRA gun charge

Patrick Kennedy (69), with an address at South Earl Street, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty i​n October​ to the unlawful possession of a .455 Colt model “New Service” revolver and a .455 Calibre Webley Mark 6 revolver bearing serial number 324736 at James’ Street, Dublin 8 on September 14th, 2013.

At today’s sentence hearing, Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce​, of the Special Detective Unit,​ summarised the facts of the case.

​H​e told ​prosecuting counsel, ​​Tony ​McGillicuddy BL, tha​t after receiving confidential information there was to be a transfer of firearms between members of the IRA on September 14th, 2013, gardai put in place a surveillance operation on the defendant and his co-accused Gary Yeung. ​

​In 2015, having pleaded guilty at the three-judge court to possessing the firearms, Yeung was jailed for five years, with three years suspended.​

​The court heard today that ​Yeung had travelled from Limerick to ​Dublin on the day in question ​and was seen by gardai on James St.

Kennedy approached Yeung​, who opened a satchel and handed the defendant a beige canvas bag with the logo LV. ​

​The court heard that ​Kennedy went into a pub​ and​ placed the bag at his feet​ before gardai followed him in, searched the bag and found two firearms. ​

​A ballistics examination showed that one of the firearms was rusted but functional and that the other did not work.

Kennedy, who is married ​with​ two children,​ has three previous convictions, the most recent of which, for assault, dates back to 1978. ​

​Det Sgt Boyce agreed with Bernard Condon SC, for Kennedy, that the weapons were old.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge ​Ann Ryan​, remanded Kennedy on continuing bail until January 22nd, when he will be sentenced.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Update on Liam Campbell extradition case

On 23 Nov 2017, a Lithuanian Minister for Justice, in reply to Justice Donnelly’s request for further information, offered his undertaking that if Mr Liam Campbell was extradited he would be held at Kaunas Remand Prison, Lithuania.

Barrister Remy Farrell for Liam Campbell argued that, any assurance offered could not be taken at face value, no guarantees could be given that torture or degrading treatment would not be meted out. He argued that this was an attempt by the Lithuanian authorities to sweep under the carpet the widely known defects In their system of protection and the abusive treatment suffered by those persons held in prisons in that country today.

Farrell, continued his argument, that it is “profoundly unsatisfactory” that one year on from Liam’s arrest, the State of Lithuania attempt to change tactics, using veiled assurances that run contrary to common practices and the evidence pertaining in the warrant, that state Liam Campbell, would effectively be held in Lukiskes Remand Prison.

Farrell offered the view that indeed this could only be viewed as a self-serving act by the Lithuanian state.

As it currently stands, Lithuanian code of practice states that a person sought for trial will be held in the state where a warrant is issued. In the case of Liam Campbell this is the condemned prison of Lukiskes, an ex-Soviet torture camp.

Lithuanian Authorities, rather than address their failings to observe and correct the human rights abuses and consequent infringements placed on them by the European community, not to mention rulings against such practices by their own courts; attempt to gloss over these grim and barbaric conditions stating they would make an exception in this case.

In June 2017 Prevention of Torture committee member, Professor Rod Morgan, was refused entry to update his findings on the treatment of persons held in detention centres in Lithuania. This refusal was followed by high level talks between the Committee from the Prevention of Torture ( CPT) and Lithuania, a red alert that the barbaric treatment in prisons was still continuing and was not about to change anytime soon.

As it stands, Ireland does not have any law on accepting the promise that torture or degrading treatment will not happen in a requesting state, especially so in the case of an Irish person whose extradition is sought. Gageby requests that a legal provision be determined on the matter by members of the Oireachtas in the absence of same.

The willingness and speed in which Lithuanian Authorities continue to pursue extradition in what has now become a 9 year struggle for The Campbell family, must be viewed as being exactly what it is, a murky, underhanded act of puppetry at its best, by the State of Lithuania on behalf of British Agents, that have conducted and secretly masterminded this case of deception and allure.

We need to look no further for proof of British state involvement than that of Liam’s brother Michael which is a related case.

In 2008 Liam’s brother Michael was arrested in Lithuania on charges of arms smuggling, he was initially sentenced to 12 years in a Lithuanian prison, however on appeal in 2013 he was acquitted as it emerged in court that he was framed by British intelligence.

Since 2009 the Campbell family have faced turmoil and stress as Lithuania continually tries to extradite Liam. The first European arrest warrant was executed in the 26 counties in January 2009, at the time The Dublin government had been warned that if the extradition was granted it could be in breach of Article 3 the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Liam was released on bail while proceedings where underway and complied with all conditions.

In May 2009 Liam was then arrested by the 6 County state police force, on foot of the same European arrest warrant, he was not granted bail and was held in Maghaberry prison while extradition proceedings in the North took place. These proceedings took nearly 4 years!
All the while Liam was incarcerated and spent much of that time in 23 hour lock up. Finally in January 2012 the extradition attempt was dismissed, this was then appealed and in February 2013 a Belfast Court upheld the original ruling against extradition stating that Liam would be held in barbaric conditions and that he ” would be at real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment by reason of the jail conditions”. Liam was finally released in March 2013.

This latest attempt to extradite Liam should be viewed with the same suspicion as previous attempts.

Support Liam Campbell, say no to extradition

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Independent councillor Gary Donnelly released ‘without charge’

Cllr Gary Donnelly Released without Charge and is currently on his way home. This arrest was completely trumped up from the beginning. His family and friends would also like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and support.

Picture of Gary leaving Gardai station via Micheal Mac Giollaeasbuig

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Republican Derry councillor Gary Donnelly arrested in Co Donegal

Gary Donnelly Independent councillor for Newry and Morne

Prominent Derry Republican and local Councillor Gary Donnelly has today been arrested by Freestate forces in Donegal. Gary was attending a commemoration marking the centenary of the Meenbanad Train Ambush.

It was widely known and publicised that Gary would be attending this event, the Freestate branch opportunistically used this knowledge to arrest him after the commemoration.

It is believed Gary is being questioned about the killing of the notorious tout Denis Donaldson. Donaldson was executed while hiding out in Donegal in April 2006, after being exposed as an informer for Mi5 and Special branch, in December the previous year.

Gary Donnelly was previously arrested and questioned in connection with the Donaldson Killing in September 2011, he was released without charge.

This fresh arrest is nothing short of harassment, no new evidence is being put forward to question Gary since his 2011 arrest.

Gary Donnelly should be released immediately

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News