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Detonator cords found in hotel room, Special Criminal Court hears

CourtsBy Sunday World
Finnstown Country House Hotel
Finnstown Country House Hotel

Detonator cords were seized by gardai during the search of a hotel room in Lucan, the Special Criminal Court trial of a Northern Irish man accused of possessing an explosive substance has heard today.

A passport bearing the same name as the accused man was also found during the search, the court was told. 

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.

Today, Detective Garda Brian Barry, member of the Garda Technical Bureau's ballistics section, told the three-judge, non-jury court that he searched the chalet at Finnstown House Hotel on the day of the alleged offence.

Det Garda Barry found three rolls of detonator cord, the court heard, as well as a remote-controlled quad-copter.

Also exhibited to the court were a bank card and a HSE medical card. 

The court was told that the name on both cards was Samuel Devlin.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Devlin booked into the chalet at the Finnstown House Hotel using a false name and was residing there at the time of the alleged offence.

Detective Garda Chris O'Connor, member of the Garda Technical Bureau's fingerprint section, told the court that he also searched the chalet. 

The detective found an Irish passport, a Social Welfare Card and a Social Welfare payment receipt, all bearing the name Samuel Devlin, the court was told. 

Earlier, before evidence was heard, defence counsel Bernard Condon SC told the court that his client objects to all the evidence in the case and that it is "safest to proceed with all the evidence by way of voir dire".

A voir dire, or "trial within a trial", is a hearing to determine the admissibility of evidence.
 
Normally, during trial by jury, voir dire evidence is subject to reporting restrictions. However, Mr Condon today told the court that the evidence in Mr Devlin's case may be reported. 

The trial continues. 

Daniel Hickey