Shell bomb arrest link to Colombia 3

GARDAÍ investigating the planting of a homemade bomb outside Shell’s headquarters arrested a relative of James Monaghan, a prominent republican and one of the so-called Colombia Three.

Two women, a youth and a man were detained after gardaí searched a home in the Dublin area yesterday morning.

The four were arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and can be held for 48 hours.

They were being questioned in Garda stations at Pearse Street, Kevin Street, Harcourt Terrace and Donnybrook.

Gardaí seized documents and computer-related equipment during the search of the home in the Dublin area.

The bomb squad was also called out to the house after a suspicious device was found, but this was deemed to be a hoax by the defence forces.

Gardaí are awaiting the result of forensic tests on materials found at the home.

The four arrests come after an investigation was launched into the planting of a device considered viable and with explosive content outside Shell’s headquarters on September 15.

The company’s headquarters on Leeson Street were closed off when the army’s bomb squad and gardaí were called in to remove the package, which was found in a carrier bag.

The energy company at the time said it was in no doubt that the planted device was in support of opposition to its refinery in north Mayo.

The project to bring billions of euro of gas ashore from the Corrib has received sustained opposition.

A file is expected to be completed by gardaí on the investigation and arrests, and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

James Monaghan could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

He was one of three Irishmen who fled Colombia in December 2004 while on bail after being sentenced to 17 years each for training FARC guerrillas.

The three men — James Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly — were travelling in Colombia on false passports. After the three men fled South America, they resurfaced eight months later in Ireland.

Colombia’s supreme court of justice last year rejected an appeal by defence lawyers for the three against their convictions for training FARC rebels.

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