Man sentenced for dissident membership

A Dublin man whose DNA was found on a number plate used in a car bomb attack at Newry courthouse in 2010 was jailed for four years yesterday by the Special Criminal Court for membership of a dissident terrorist organisation.

Man sentenced for dissident membership

Darren Weldon, aged 45, a native of Kilbarrack, Dublin, with an address at Drinadaly in Trim, Co Meath, was convicted last month of being a member of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 14, 2014.

During the trial, the court heard evidence that on February 22, 2010, a car bomb exploded outside Newry courthouse. In the aftermath, within the debris, PSNI officers found the car’s registration plate.

Weldon was arrested four years later. While in custody gardaí took DNA swabs, which were compared to a DNA profile found on the registration plate and the samples matched.

Weldon had been arrested before, in September 2012, for suspected IRA membership, after attending the funeral of Alan Ryan, one of six men jailed for taking part in a Real IRA training camp in Co Meath in October 1999. He was shot dead in 2012.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt yesterday sentenced Weldon to five years imprisonment but suspended the final year.

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