IRA membership trial hears mobile phone evidence

The trial of a Dublin man accused of membership of the IRA has heard evidence from a garda mobile phone expert.

Sean Farrell (aged 27), of Kilfenora Road, Crumlin, has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation within the State namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on July 7, 2011.

Giving evidence this afternoon before the non-jury court, Detective Garda Fiona Summers told Mr Michael Bowman BL, for the State, that she works with Europol as an analyst and is attached to the Special Detective Unit.

She agreed that she conducted a review of an XRY analysis of mobile phones taken from Mr Farrell and another man also arrested during the investigation, and extracted all communications between the two handsets such as text messages and phone calls.

The court heard earlier that an XRY examination involves the use of software to download from mobile phones and SIM cards details of all communications such as texts written and received, phone calls made, received and missed, contact phonebook details and pictures saved.

Det Gda Summers told Mr Bowman that a text message sent to Mr Farrell's phone from the other man’s phone at 10:53am on June 24, 2011 read: “Sean, did you put everything in the one bag”.

The trial heard last week that the fingerprint of the accused man was retrieved from a plastic bag used to wrap a sawn-off shotgun, which gardaí found along with two other weapons after a search of a one-bedroom flat on Bride Road in Dublin 8.

Mr Bowman submitted that the information contained in the text message was relevant because Mr Farrell had answered “no comment” to questions about his association with the other man put to him by gardaí in a series of interviews at Terenure Garda Station.

The trial continues in front of presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler.

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