A court in Colombia has found three Irishmen not guilty of training FARC fighters, but guilty of travelling on false passports.  

The Colombian Attorney General's office says it will appeal the ruling.

Martin McCauley, James Monaghan and Niall Connolly have been given prison sentences but are expected to be released once they have paid fines of about $7,000 each.  

McCauley was sentenced to 36 months and 18 days, Monaghan to 44 months and Connolly to 26 months.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said they will be unable to leave Colombia while the case is under appeal.

Catríona Ruane of the Bring Them Home campaign has called on the Government to make representations to ensure the men's safe return.

Ms Ruane said there was no safe place in Colombia for them or their supporters, and that the Irish Government must act now to secure their safety.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, said he was grateful to the Colombian authorities for the assistance they gave Irish officials monitoring the case.

Mr Cowen also said that the Honorary Irish Consul was maintaining contact to safeguard the continuing security of the three and their safe departure from Colombia.

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey has said his party is delighted with the decision, and that he 'expects the lads to be home quickly'.

Mr Maskey said the men should not have spent even one day in prison. He continued that he and Sinn Féin still have concerns for the men's safety and that it is imperative they are freed from their present conditions as soon as possible.