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Saturday 10 December 2016

IRA member suspect in 'attempt to bomb Shell HQ' at just 16

Donal O’ Coisdealbha
Donal O’ Coisdealbha

A university worker, who has pleaded guilty to membership of the IRA, was arrested when he was aged just 16 by gardai investigating a large bomb that was placed at Shell's Ireland HQ.

Donal O'Coisdealbha (24), from Killester in north Dublin, is suspected of being one of the youngest-ever active dissident republican recruits.

Ultimately he was never charged in relation to his arrest for the bomb discovery at Leeson Street in September 2008, but senior sources say he has remained a chief suspect for the incident at Shell HQ.

Explosive

However, O'Coisdealbha's luck changed on May 13, 2015, when he was arrested by armed members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) as dissident republicans were planning to carry out attacks during a visit by Prince Charles to Ireland that month.

The Special Criminal Court has already heard that O'Coisdealbha was arrested at Maynooth railway station while on his way to work at NUI Maynooth.

Gardai said a timer power unit for an explosive device was found in his locker at the college. A memory chip board - broken from another chip board linked to a location in Wexford where explosives were found - was also seized.

The court heard that home-made rockets and a modified fire extinguisher designed for a bomb were found in that raid. A senior detective told the court that O'Coisdealbha was recorded referring to having components for 26 explosive devices.

He said evidence in the case would include audio recordings of meetings in a pub in North County Dublin in April and May of last year.

Gardai believe the accused and another man were "at an advanced stage of planning the carrying out of attacks", the detective added.

It previously emerged that Independent TDs Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan offered to post bail for O'Coisdealbha but he was unsuccessful in multiple applications.

The young IRA man is the stepson of former Provo and Colombia Three man James 'Mortar' Monaghan.

O'Coisdealbha is due to be sentenced for IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court on Monday.

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