Guilty plea to transporting a mortar
A Sligo man who was on trial accused of IRA membership has pleaded guilty before the Special Criminal Court to helping an unlawful organisation by transporting a training mortar.
Damhan McFadden (29), of Kilmacowen, Ballysadare in Sligo, pleaded guilty to knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann otherwise the IRA by transporting a training mortar in furtherance of an unlawful object within the State on August 14, 2016.
McFadden had originally pleaded not guilty at the three-judge court to membership of an unlawful organisation on August 14, 2016 and the trial has been underway since November 15.
After the guilty plea was entered, prosecuting counsel Fiona Murphy SC asked the court that a “nolle prosequi” be entered on the membership charge which Mr McFadden had originally been charged with.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded McFadden on continuing bail until January 25, when he will be sentenced.
The trial continues against Julian Flohr, McFadden’s former co-accused.
Flohr (37), with an address at Rusheen Ard, Caltragh in Sligo, is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, on August 14, 2016.
As Mr Flohr made no reply when the registrar put the membership charge to him two weeks ago, the court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Evidence was previously given that the two men were travelling in a car from which gardai recovered a mortar round inside a “Spiderman” themed backpack.
Gda Eamonn McDonnell of the Sligo/Leitrim Divisional Drugs and his colleague Gda Ciaran Staid were on duty in the Dromahair area of around 10.30pm on August 14 and were heading towards Manorhamilton when they observed a black Saab car belonging to McFadden in the area which they found “unusual” and stopped him.