Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1998

Unlawful collection of information.

8.—(1) It shall be an offence for a person to collect, record or possess information which is of such a nature that it is likely to be useful in the commission by members of any unlawful organisation of serious offences generally or any particular kind of serious offence.

(2) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that at the time of the alleged offence the information in question was not being collected or recorded by him or her, or in his or her possession, for the purpose of its being used in such commission of any serious offence or offences.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

(4) In this section—

“members of any unlawful organisation” includes members of such an organisation whose identities are unknown to the Garda Síochána;

“serious offence” means an offence which satisfies both of the following conditions:

(a) it is an offence for which a person of full age and capacity and not previously convicted may, under or by virtue of any enactment, be punished by imprisonment for a term of 5 years or by a more severe penalty, and

(b) it is an offence that involves loss of human life, serious personal injury (other than injury that constitutes an offence of a sexual nature), false imprisonment or serious loss of or damage to property or a serious risk of any such loss, injury, imprisonment or damage,

and includes an act or omission done or made outside the State that would be a serious offence if done or made in the State.