Dissident republican investigation: Two Cork men appear in court

Special Criminal Court
Image caption The pair appeared at a special sitting of Dublin's Special Criminal Court on Monday evening

Two Cork men have appeared in court in the Republic of Ireland charged with firearms offences and membership of a paramilitary organisation.

Brian Walsh, 43, and Anthony Carroll, 30, were arrested in County Cork on Saturday as part of an investigation into dissident republican activity.

The pair were detained when gardai stopped the a car in the Dean Rock area of Togher and recovered two handguns.

They were remanded in custody at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Mr Walsh, with an address at Connolly Road, Ballyphehane, and Mr Carroll of Curaheen Close, Bishopstown, were brought before a special sitting of the non-jury court on Monday evening.

They were officially charged with "membership of an unlawful organisation within the state styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA".

They were also charged with the unlawful possession of a semi-automatic pistol, a revolver and ammunition.

A detective told the court that when he formally arrested Mr Walsh shortly before 16:00 GMT in Cork on Monday, the accused man replied: "I was expecting this."

Another detective said that when Mr Carroll was formerly cautioned he made no reply.

There was no application for bail and both men were remanded in custody to appear before the court again on 5 March.