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Man accused of IRA membership denies buying Shamrock glucose to make explosives

Seamus McGrane from Louth has pleaded not guilty to membership of the IRA.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via Rolling News

A LOUTH MAN accused of IRA membership and directing the activities of the dissident organisation denied buying Shamrock glucose in his alleged capacity as an IRA member, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Seamus McGrane (63), of Little Road, Dromiskin, County Louth has pleaded not guilty to membership of the IRA between 18 January 2010 and 13 May 2015.

He has also denied directing the activities of an unlawful organisation – the Irish Republican Army (IRA) – between the dates of 19 April and 13 May 2015.

Detective garda Colm Finnerty, of the Special Detective Unit, told prosecuting counsel Tara Burns SC today that on 15 April 2015, McGrane was interviewed by gardaí under Section 2 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The section allows a court to draw inferences from a suspected person’s failure or refusal to answer questions regarding alleged IRA membership.

The court heard that McGrane denied he was a member of the IRA.

Finnerty said that the accused man was also asked if he had ever bought Shamrock glucose in his capacity as an IRA member and he again denied membership.

Previously, the court had heard an audio recording of a conversation between McGrane and Donal O’Coisdealbha in the snug of a Dublin pub that had been bugged by garda detectives in which the accused man spoke of using Shamrock glucose to manufacture explosives.

Earlier, the court heard ‘belief evidence’ from Chief Superintendent Sean Ward that the accused man was a member of the IRA between the dates in question.

Detective garda Noel Mohan, of Dundalk garda station, told prosecuting counsel Tara Burns SC that he saw McGrane in Dundalk at republican marches commemorating the 1916 Rising every year from 2011 to 2015.

He said that men convicted and jailed by the Special Criminal Court also attended these marches.

The court was told that the prosecution had closed its case.

Michael O’Higgins SC, for Mr McGrane, said the defence was not going into evidence.

The court will listen to closing speeches from the prosecution and defence tomorrow morning.

Read: Man accused of attempting to murder sister searched for ‘jugular vein’ online before attack

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Daniel Hickey

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