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Bail for relative of former Lord Mayor charged over TNT find in Dublin

Mairtin Manning
Mairtin Manning

A relative of Independent Councillor and former Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke has been granted bail on a charge of knowingly possessing four kilograms of TNT in the city centre.

Mairtin Manning (22) is charged with knowingly possessing an explosive substance to wit ten 400 gram blocks of TNT and the explosive head of an RGD33 hand grenade at Spring Garden Street, Dublin 3 on June 2, 2017.

His co-accused Declan McDermott (28) is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation, to wit an organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann otherwise the IRA within the State on June 2, 2017.

At today's bail hearing at the Special Criminal Court, the State objected to Mr Manning’s and Mr McDermott’s bail applications.

Detective Sergeant William Hanrahan of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), told Fiona Murphy BL, for the State, that Gardaí were objecting to bail in connection with Mr Manning because of the “seriousness” of the charge and the fact he might abscond.

The witness agreed with counsel that his objections were raised under the "O'Callaghan" principles. Mr Manning has no previous convictions, the court heard.

Det Segt Hanrahan said that Gardai were also objecting to bail in connection with Mr McDermott and again this concern was based on the "O'Callaghan" principles and the concern that he would not stand trial. Mr McDermott has no previous convictions.

Michael O'Higgins SC, for Mr Manning, said his client is employed as an apprentice plumber and is close to the end of his apprenticeship with only two modules outstanding. Counsel said the evidence that had been offered against Mr Manning was "extremely thin" and he had a strong connection to his community.

John Moher BL, for Mr McDermott, said his client has an eight-month-old son with his partner and it was proposed that he reside at her address. Counsel said Mr McDermott had "considerable ties" to this jurisdiction and there was no evidence that Gardai were in possession of any information that he was a flight risk. "I say he presents as a very strong candidate for bail and he should be so viewed," he said.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Martin Nolan and Judge Flann Brennan, said the court had considered the applications and objections.

"We accept entirely the reason of Det Sgt Hanrahan's stance and his concerns. This is an O'Callaghan objection and not a Section 2 bail objection which concerns the commission of further offences. There is no such suggestion of this in the case so we have to deal with it on the basis of flight risk only," he said.

The judge then granted bail to both men on condition that each of them give their date of birth on oath to the court as they had previously presented themselves in court "without the most basic details".

"We need to have certainty who we are dealing with," he said.

Both men then gave their respective date of births to the court.

An independent surety of €20,000 was present in court for Mr Manning and he entered into his own bond of €300 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. Mr Manning must reside at Ballybough Road, Dublin 3 and is required not to associate with any person convicted or charged with a scheduled offence in the Special Criminal Court except for Christy Burke and Ciaran Burke who are relatives of his.

The court heard that Mr McDermott was required to reside with his partner and mother of his son at Sean Treacy House, Buckingham Street, Dublin 1. He was required to enter his own bond of €300 and an independent surety of €20,000 or two of €10,000. The court heard that one person had been approved for this today but he needed to come up with a second person.

Other bail conditions for both men included surrendering their passport/travel documents and not applying for travel documents, signing on twice daily at Store Street Garda Station between the hours of 7.30am and 12 noon and 2pm and 6.30pm, observing a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am, not leaving the jurisdiction, not entering
Northern Ireland and not attending pre-planned Republican Assemblies or Republican Commemorations.

Both men are also required not to associate with their co-accused except in the presence of their legal team and for the purposes of legal consultations. They also cannot contact either directly or indirectly any proposed prosecution witnesses in the case. Another condition was to provide a mobile phone number to Det Sgt Hanrahan.

Mr McDermott was remanded in custody with consent to bail until July 24.

The former Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke was in court seated with the men's family and supporters for the hearing.