Two Cork men have appeared before a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court charged with membership of the IRA and firearms offences.

Brian Walsh, 43, and Anthony Carroll, 30, were detained on Saturday afternoon in the Dean Rock area of Togher by detectives from Togher Garda Station.

Their arrest is part of an investigation into the activities of dissident republicans.

Mr Walsh, with an address at Connolly Road, Ballyphehane, and Mr Carroll of Curaheen Close, Bishopstown, were both charged before the non-jury court with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on 23 February 2013.

The pair were charged with the unlawful possession of a Walther PI 9mm calibre semi-automatic pistol and a Smith & Wesson .22mm Magnum calibre revolver at Deanrock Avenue, Togher, on the same date.

The men were also charged with the unlawful possession of a magazine together with six rounds of 9mm calibre ammunition suitable for use with the Walther pistol, and six rounds of .22 long rifle rounds of ammunition suitable for use in a Smith & Wesson .22 magnum calibre revolver at the same address on the same date.

Detective Garda Gary Duggan told State Solicitor Liam Mulholland that he formally arrested Mr Walsh shortly before 4pm today on Tramore Road, Cork.

He told Mr Mulholland that at the time of the arrest, he believed the accused man had committed the offences of which he is charged.

Det Garda Duggan said that he explained to Mr Walsh the reason for his arrest in ordinary language and cautioned him.

He said the accused man, who appeared before the non-jury court dressed in a fawn jacket and dark trousers, replied "I was expecting this" to the caution.

Detective Brendan Murray told Mr Mulholland that he formally arrested Mr Carroll shortly before 4pm this afternoon in Cork city.

He said that Mr Carroll, who appeared before the court dressed in red Munster rugby jacket and grey tracksuit bottoms, made no reply after caution.

There was no application for bail and Mr Mulholland said the State wished to reserve its position with regard to legal aid.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge Flannan Brennan, remanded both men in custody with liberty to apply for bail to appear in front of the court on 5 March.