A Donegal man has been charged with possession of assault rifles and ammunition at an out-of-hours sitting of the Special Criminal Court.

Shane Rowan, 39, of Forest Park, Killygordan, Co Donegal was charged at the non-jury court with possession of three assault rifles, including a Chinese Type 56, a Romanian PM63 and a Zastava M70, as well as three magazines suitable for use in each rifle, at Balrath, Slane, Co Meath on 9 March.

He was also charged with possession of 75 rounds of assorted manufactured 7.62 by 39mm calibre ammunition at the same place on the same date.

Additionally, Mr Rowan was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, also on the same date.

Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce, of the Special Detective Unit, told the three-judge court that he arrested Mr Rowan under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act in Drogheda today.

The detective sergeant said he explained to Mr Rowan the reason for his arrest and cautioned him to which he made no reply.

In the vicinity of the Special Criminal Court, Det Sgt Boyce showed Mr Rowan a copy of the original charge sheet, to which the accused man again made no reply, the court heard.

Mr Rowan stood up when requested by the registrar of the Special Criminal Court.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding alongside Judge Martin Nolan and Judge William Hamill, remanded Mr Rowan in custody until 16 March, when his case is listed for mention again.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Mr Rowan, consented to the remand order.