Denis Kinsella, 27, said: 'I have nothing to do with the IRA whatsoever. I have no support for any group that has anything to do with violence.'
The prosecution alleges that Mr Kinsella and Pairic MacFhloinn, 40, were part of a three-man IRA cell which planted bombs at gasworks in Warrington, Cheshire, last February. They were later stopped in a routine police check by PC Mark Toker, who was shot three times as he searched their van.
Mr Kinsella and Mr MacFhloinn were caught after a high-speed chase along the M62. The third man escaped.
Mr Kinsella said he had met the men the previous day through his father. He had been told they were looking for work on the mainland and needed a place to stay. He said the men asked him for a lift to Warrington, where they would be doing 'a stroke' - Dublin slang for a burglary. He agreed to drive them after they had offered him pounds 120 and promised to leave his flat in Nottingham.
He and Mr MacFhloinn deny attempted murder, causing an explosion, kidnap and possessing a firearm. Charges of attempting to murder a second officer were dropped. John Kinsella, 49, Denis's uncle, denies possessing explosives.
The trial continues today.