Wallce in failed bid to post bail for man accused of IRA membership

By Esther Hayden

Published 22/12/2015 | 00:00

Mick Wallace and Clare Daly were two of seven people who were willing to post bail for Donal O'Coisdealbha who is charged with IRA membership.
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly were two of seven people who were willing to post bail for Donal O'Coisdealbha who is charged with IRA membership.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace was one of three TDs who offered to post bail for a man accused of IRA membership and possession of explosives gardai believe were linked to a visit to Ireland by Prince Charles.

Wallace along with Independent TD's Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan offered to post bail for engineering graduate Donal O'Coisdealbha in the Special Criminal Court last Thursday. .

All three TDs were present in court for the bail application which was refused.

O'Coisdealbha (23), of Abbeyfield, Killester, Dublin 15, is charged IRA membership and possession of a component part of an improvised explosive device on May 13.

Asked what his relationship with the TDs was, O'Coisdealbha said they were 'family friends'.

The court heard the accused man has applied for bail on four previous occasions, twice at the Special Criminal Court and twice at the High Court.

The State objected to Mr O'Coisdealbha's bail application. Detective Inspector Anthony Lenehan, of the Special Detective Unit, told the three-judge, non-jury court that there was an objection to bail on grounds of the 'seriousness of the charge'.

Detective Lenehan said O'Coisdealbha's girlfriend is from Latvia, he speaks Russian and has no mortgage or children tying him to Ireland.

Detective Chief Superintendent John McMahon told the court there was an objection to bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act. The section allows a Chief Superintendent to give evidence that the refusal of bail is necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence.

Senior gardaí have told the Special Criminal Court their inquiries uncovered 'advanced plans' by the IRA to mount bomb attacks during the visit of Britain's Prince Charles.

Mr Justice Butler said the court refused the accused man's application 'with great reluctance'.

O'Coisdealbha was arrested at Maynooth train station on May 13 while on his way to work in NUI Maynooth. He was later charged with IRA membership and with possession of a component part of an improvised explosive device - namely a time and power unit also known as a TPU - at a personal storage locker under his name at Protector Life Sciences at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth on May 13, 2015 under such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he had not got it in his possession for a lawful purpose.

The court was told seven people were willing to offer bail totalling €35,000, €5,000 each for O'Coisdealbha. The seven included O'Coisdealbha's mother and brother, two friends - Caroline Hogan and Philip Flynn as well as Deputies Wallace, Daly and O'Sullivan.

Wexford People

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