Court hears of ‘high-order explosive’ found in Dublin hotel room

CourtsBy Sunday World
Finnstown Country House Hotel, Lucan
Finnstown Country House Hotel, Lucan

Detonating cord containing "high-order explosive" was found in a Lucan hotel room, the Special Criminal Court trial of a Northern Irish man accused of possession of an explosive substance has heard.

The court also heard evidence today that the accused man's DNA was found on a laptop seized during a search of the hotel room. 

Samuel Devlin (55), with an address at Golf Suite, Finnstown House Hotel, Lucan, Co Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of the explosive substance (PETN) at the same address on May 11, 2014.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Devlin booked himself into the chalet at Finnstown House Hotel using a false name and that an explosive substance was found in the chalet while he was residing there. 

Today, Detective Garda Brian Barry, of the Garda Technical Bureau's ballistics section, told Tara Burns SC, prosecuting, that three rolls of detonating cord were found wrapped in towels within a laptop case found in the chalet at Finnstown House.

The three rolls of detonator cord, with a combined length of 26 metres, were manufactured by Irish Industrial Explosives, the court heard. 

The detective also said that forensic examination of samples of the cord revealed PETN, "a high-order explosive". 

Seven lengths of plastic tubing, cut lengthways, and a number of plastic fibres were exhibited to the court. 

The exhibits were found in a plastic bag which had been dumped in a public bin outside the hotel's grounds, the court was told. 

Previously, the court has heard evidence that on May 9th, 2014, a member of the National Surveillance Unit saw Mr Devlin leave the hotel on a bicycle and deposit a plastic bag into a public bin.

The plastic tubing and fibres were the remains of detonator cord, with the PETN removed, and were similar to the cord found in the hotel room, Det Gda Barry told the court. 

Earlier, Doctor Edward Connolly, of the forensic science laboratory, told Ms Burns that he examined DNA lifted from latex gloves found in a public bin outside the hotel's grounds.

The DNA matched Mr Devlin's, the court heard. 

Dr Connolly also examined samples of DNA lifted from the plug of a laptop computer found in the hotel room. In what was a mixed DNA profile, a major contributor to the sample matched Mr Devlin's DNA, the doctor told the court.

The trial resumes on Tuesday.

Daniel Hickey