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Irish Republican Army

Volume 978: debated on Monday 11 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been (a) charged with and (b) found guilty of being members of the Irish Republican Army in 1978, 1979 and 1980 to date.

It is not possible to identify all cases in which a person has been charged with the offence of belonging or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation. The Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, however, has records of cases in which he directed prosecution for the offence of belonging or professing to belong to the Irish Republican Army, as follows:

1978184
1979116
1980 (January)25
Records of convictions relate to the most serious offence, which is seldom that of membership of a proscribed organisation; nor are the different organisations distinguished in the records. A complete list of convictions for membership of the Irish Republican Army would thus require a study of all court proceedings.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the persons apprehended for allegedly being members of a firing party at a recent Irish Republican Army funeral have been charged; and if so, what charges have been preferred, and what penalties they face.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the funeral of Kevin Delaney, following which a number of persons were arrested. So far, one man has been charged with the offences of membership of a proscribed organisation and with dressing or behaving in such a way as to cause reasonable apprehension that he is a member of a proscribed organisation.The penalty for membership of a proscribed organisation is a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £400 or both on summary conviction and up to 10 years' imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both on conviction on indictment. The offence of dressing or behaving in a public place in such a way as to arouse reasonable apprehension that a person is a member of a proscribed organisation is a summary one attracting a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment, a fine of £400 or both.