TDs Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan offer to post bail for IRA accused linked to Prince Charles terror plot

NewsBy Alan Sherry
Terror Charges: Donal O'Coisdealbha
Terror Charges: Donal O'Coisdealbha
Family friends: Mick Wallace an Clare Daly
Family friends: Mick Wallace an Clare Daly

Three TDs 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.

Independent TDs Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Maureen O’Sullivan offered to post bail for Donal O’Coisdealbha in the Special Criminal Court today.

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”.

Detective Inspector Anthony Lenihan of the Special Detective objected to bail saying he believed the accused would abscond.

He added O’Coisdealbha’s  girlfriend is from Latvia, he speaks Russian and has no mortgage or children tying him to Ireland.

DI Lenihan said evidence in the case would include audio recordings of meetings in a pub in north county Dublin in April and May. 

He added that gardai believe the accused and another  man were “at an advanced stage of planning the carrying out of attacks on this island we believe at the time of a visit of a member of the Royal family in May 2015.

Leading republican Séamus McGrane was also arrested as part of the operation and is before the courts on charges of directing terrorism. 

O’Coisdealbha was arrested at Maynooth train station on May 13 while on his way to work in NUI Maynooth. Gardai said a timer power unit for an explosive device was found in his locker in the college. A memory chip board broken from another chip board linked to a location in Wexford where explosives were found was also seized.

DI Lenihan told the court that home-made rockets and a modified fire extinguisher off which gardai believe was designed to be a bomb were found the that raid.

“I’m objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the charges. I believe the evidence is very strong and there is a high chance he will be convicted. He has no huge ties to this jurisdiction. His girlfriend is Eastern European and he has no mortgage and no children. He studied the Russian language. It is my belief if he is granted bail he would not appear before the court.”

Detective Chief Superintendent John McMahon told the court: “It is the belief of gardai that he was planning an explosion to coincide with the visit of the Prince of Wales”.

He added that evidence will be heard that O’Coisdealbha was recorded referring to having components for 26 explosive devices which have still not been found.

The court also heard O’Coisdealbha is no longer on a landing with other dissident republican prisoners.

He said: “About three weeks ago I was informed my presence on the landing would no longer be tolerated by people housed there.”

He is now on landing not aligned to any dissident republican group. 

The court was told seven people were willing to offer bail totalling €35,000. The seven included the accused’s mother and brother two friends Caroline Hogan and Philip Flynn as well as Wallace Daly and O’Sullivan.

O’Coisdealbha is the step-son of former Provo James ‘Mortar’ Monaghan.

Monaghan earned his nickname from his talent of making homemade mortars and was one of the infamous ‘Colombia Three’ who were arrested in the South American country in 2001 on suspicion of training FARC rebels.

They were convicted of training the rebels and sentenced to seventeen years in jail but fled the country while awaiting the results of an appeal.

He currently spends much of his time canvassing for Sinn Fein in Dublin.