Man accused of threatening mortar attack during Queen's visit to Ireland

A man who called Longford garda station during the State visit of the UK Queen five years ago threatened two mortars were set at Dublin Castle and that he was a member of the "Republican Brotherhood, Squad A", the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Man accused of threatening mortar attack during Queen's visit to Ireland

A man who called Longford garda station during the State visit of the UK Queen five years ago threatened two mortars were set at Dublin Castle and that he was a member of the "Republican Brotherhood, Squad A", the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Donal Billings (aged 65) of St Bridget’s Court, Drumlish, Co Longford, is charged before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin with four offences under the Criminal Law Act of 1976 of knowingly making false reports tending to show that an offence had been committed.

The charges allege that he made a false report within the State on May 16, 2011, that bombs had been placed at Busáras in Dublin and at Sinn Féin's headquarters.

He is also charged with making a false report on May 18 that two mortars were set for Dublin Castle, and with making a false report on May 20 that two bombs had been placed in the toilets at Cork Airport.

Additionally, he is charged with the unlawful possession of an explosive substance at Longford railway station car park on May 16, 2011.

Mr Billings has pleaded not guilty to each of the five charges.

Today/Yesterday (Mon), Garda Thomas Egan told prosecuting counsel Garnett Orange SC that on May 18th, 2011, a man made a phone-call to Longford garda station.

The garda told the court that the man said: "I'm a member of the Republican Brotherhood, Squad A. Two mortars are set for Dublin Castle at 8pm."

"This is for the Queen of blood and war of Iraq," the man said, the court was told.

The garda said that the man spoke with a "slight Dublin accent".

Detective Inspector Pat Finlay gave evidence that on May 17, 2011, he became aware of a specific phone number believed to be related to a call made the previous evening.

Previously, the court has heard evidence on the eve of the royal visit a phone-call was made to Longford garda station, threatening bombs on buses and the Sinn Féin headquarters.

The detective said that another phone-call was made to the station on May 18 and the next day a particular individual came to the focus of the investigation.

This person was Donal Billings, he said, the accused.

The detective said that he then arranged for surveillance to be put on Mr Billings.

The court heard that a third phonecall was made on May 20 and later that day, in a Lidl carpark in Longford, Mr Billings was arrested.

The trial continues.

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