A dissident republican was today jailed for three years by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for membership of an illegal organisation.

Ruairai Convey, 25, of Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede, Dublin, had pleaded guilty to membership of an organisation styling itself the IRA, otherwise known as Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army on 6th June 2001.

The court heard that during a search of Convey’s home, detectives found a hand-written note containing the names of two members of the gardai’s Emergency Response Unit along with photographs of a masked man at a bonfire in Belfast.

When he was arrested in Dublin on 6 June 2001, Convey was in possession of a roll of film showing four armed and masked men saluting Robbie Doolin, a former actor and Real IRA member who died in 2000.

He later made a statement admitting membership of Oglaigh na hEireann.

Sentencing Convey, Mr Justice Robert Barr, presiding, said the ‘‘so-called Real IRA’’ posed a danger to peace in Ireland, north and south of the border.

He said it was not stated that Convey had severed his connection with the unlawful organisation and, if not given a custodial sentence, he may continue his involvement with the Real IRA.

Jailing Convey for three years, the judge said the court took into account the guilty plea, the accused’s ‘‘exemplary’’ employment record and the fact that he has no previous convictions.