Northern Ireland

Three NI men jailed for IRA membership

Three men from Northern Ireland have been jailed for IRA membership.

Gerard McGarrigle, 46, from Mount Carmel Heights in Strabane was sentenced to five years in prison.

Desmond Donnelly, 58, from Drumall, Lisnarick, Fermanagh and Jim Murphy, 63, from Floraville in Enniskillen, were given three years and nine months.

They were arrested in February after Irish police received a tip-off that dissident republicans were about to carry out a tiger kidnapping.

They had denied membership of an illegal organisation but were convicted last month.

Dublin Special Criminal Court heard during their trial that they were arrested at an Irish police checkpoint outside Letterkenny last February.

Items including an imitation firearm, latex gloves, nine cable ties and black bin liners were found in their vehicle.

Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court was satisfied Irish police had received evidence relating to an alleged plot by dissident republicans that involved either a "tiger kidnapping or robbery", and that the intelligence included the names of the three accused.

During sentencing, he said said McGarrigle had three previous convictions in Northern Ireland for terrorist-related offences, including one in 1993 for attempted murder.

Donnelly and Murphy had no significant previous convictions.