A 32-year-old man from Co Cork has been sentenced to four years in prison for membership of the IRA.

Don Bullman, a chef from Fernwood Crescent in Wilton, was arrested at Heuston Station in Dublin two years ago by gardaí investigating money laundering following the 2004 Northern Bank robbery.

He was found in possession of a Daz washing powder box containing more than €94,000 and was convicted last month of membership of the IRA.

The Special Criminal Court was told today that Bullman was a 'very hard working man' who was responsible for six children aged between seven months and 14 years.

It is understood his brother died at Christmas and he was now looking after his brother's four children as well as two children of his own.

The presiding judge, Mr Justice Paul Butler, said a lot had been said about the background to the case. He said there had been references to the Northern Bank robbery, to the possession of large sums of money and an investigation into money laundering.

Mr Justice Butler said he wished to make it clear that Bullman was not charged with any other offence other than membership of the IRA and there was no evidence as to the level of his involvement with that organisation.

The court also heard that no evidence was given during the trial about the origin of the money Bullman was found with.

Mr Justice Butler said the court was taking into account a number of mitigating factors; Bullman had no previous convictions and he had honoured his bail conditions.

The judge said Bullman had been willing to give an undertaking that he would not be involved in subversive acts in future.

As the court had found he was guilty of membership of the IRA, the undertaking was not sufficient to suspend any part of the sentence.

But Justice Butler said he would take it into account in reducing the sentence it might otherwise impose.

He sentenced Mr Bullman to four years in jail backdated from 7 March to take into account the short time he had already spent in custody.