Three men arrested in Donegal, charged with IRA membership

Three men arrested as part of a garda investigation into dissident republican activity here in Co Donegal have been charged with IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

57-year-old Desmond Donnelly, of Drumall, Lisnarick, Co Fermanagh, 45 year-old, Gerard Mc Garrigle, of Mount Carmel Heights, Strabane and Jim Murphy, for whom no age or address is available, were each charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

The trio were amongst five men arrested as part of a Garda probe into dissident Republican activity.

Two other men who were arrested as part of the operation were released without charge.

Gardai said a sixth man in his 30s, was arrested last night. He's being held at Letterkenny Gardai station.

The court heard evidence that the three men were arrested last night at Letterkenny and Milford in Co Donegal on suspicion of membership of an illegal organisation.

Detective Garda Greg Regan, who arrested Mc Garrigle, said that when he was cautioned, Mc Garrigle replied: "I think your laws is up the left and you are a disgrace to the Irish people.''

When he was formally charged, Mc Garrigle replied: "I am not a member of any organisation."

Detective Garda Sean Barrett said that Jim Murphy had declined to give his date of birth or address to gardaí.

The court remanded all three men in custody until March 4 when bail applications are expected to be made.