A Louth man has appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged with membership of the IRA and two counts of possession of firearms.

Owen McCann, 35, was arrested in Dundalk on Friday afternoon by members of the Special Detective Unit as part of an ongoing operation targeting dissident republican activity.

Mr McCann, of Annaloughan, Jenkistown, Dundalk, Co Louth, is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on 18 December 2015.

Mr McCann is also charged with two counts of possession of firearms including a rifle, conversion kit for pistols and ammunition on 17 December 2015.

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce told Acting Chief Prosecution Solicitor Mr Liam Mulholland that he formally arrested Mr McCann in The Crescent, Dundalk, Co Louth, today.

Det Sgt Boyce said Mr McCann made no reply when he was arrested and he was then brought to Dundalk garda station where he was handed a copy of his rights.

Counsel for Mr McCann, Mr Conan Fegan BL, applied for legal aid and Mr Mulholland confirmed there was no objection to this application.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge John O'Hagan and Judge Ann Ryan, remanded Mr McCann in custody until Tuesday morning when his bail application will be dealt with.