Court told of makeshift kidnap camp

A hidden makeshift camp camouflaged in dense woodland was discovered where a supermarket boss was held captive, a court heard today.

Detectives probing the kidnapping of Don Tidey found an improvised tunnel shaped tent cut in to the natural undergrowth.

Retired Detective Sergeant Patrick Ennis said a hand grenade, rifle, ammunition, handcuffs, a chain, five sleeping bags, and cooking utensils were seized at the scene.

Mr Tidey was snatched in the capital on November 24, 1983 and held captive for more than three weeks in a secluded Co Leitrim wood before being rescued by the security forces.

Prison escapee and former IRA chief Brendan McFarlane (aged 56) has pleaded not guilty to three charges linked with the abduction of the Quinnsworth executive 25 years ago.

Det Sgt Ennis told Dublin's Special Criminal Court when he carried out a search of the woodland he saw the bodies of a trainee garda and Army private who had been shot dead during attempts to save Mr Tidey.

Opposite from where they lay was a footpath cut in to dense foliage which led to the makeshift camp camouflaged in natural growth, he said.

"In this was an improvised tent cut in to the shape of a tunnel," he said.

It measured 14ft 8ins long by 5ft 7ins wide, was a maximum of 2ft 8ins high in parts, and had its interior sheeted with black plastic bags and straw.

The retired garda continued: "A thorough search of the area was carried out.

"This included cutting down and the removal of all trees and vegetation. This took a number of days.

"During the search of this site a number of items were seized."

Other exhibits found by officers located in the woodland and a nearby field included a number a automatic rifles, magazines, cartridges, and items of clothing.

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