Author of Dissident IRA communiqué smuggled from Portlaoise Prison not identified after analysis

Communiqué written on cigarette papers and found among some Christmas cards

Portlaoise Prison

Handwriting analysis of an "IRA communiqué" allegedly smuggled by a Dublin man out of Portlaoise prison was inconclusive, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Brian Kenna (54), with an address at Crumlin Park, Crumlin, Dublin 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 November 21st, 2015.

Detective Garda John Sweetman, of the Garda Techniacl Bureau, told prosecuting counsel Ronan Kennedy BL on Wednesday that he examined a number of documents - including an "IRA communiqué" and some Christmas cards - for shared authorship.

Previously, the court has heard that a detective was searching Mr Kenna outside Portlaoise prison when the "communiqué" fell from the accused man's pocket.

The alleged "secret IRA communication" was written on three pieces of cigarette paper adhered together.

Mr Kenna was also carrying Christmas cards at the time, the court has heard.

Detective Garda Sweetman told the court that he compared the handwriting on the Christmas cards with that on the cigarette papers.

It was probably not a good representation of the author's normal style of handwriting, he said.

The detective said that he could not give a reliable opinion as to common authorship.

The trial resumes on Friday morning in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge John O'Hagan and Judge Flann Brennan.

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