Trial of IRA accused hears two 'well-made' IEDs found in car gardai had stopped on national road

The Special Criminal Court trial of a Louth man accused of IRA membership has heard that two "very well made" and "viable" improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a car that gardai had stopped on the N52 in County Meath.

Trial of IRA accused hears two 'well-made' IEDs found in car gardai had stopped on national road

By Daniel Hickey

The Special Criminal Court trial of a Louth man accused of IRA membership has heard that two "very well made" and "viable" improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a car that gardai had stopped on the N52 in County Meath.

It is the prosecution's case that Michael Connolly (44) was observed by gardai driving in convoy along the road with a man who was later found with the two IEDs.

Mr Connolly, of Grange Drive in Dundalk, County Louth, has pleaded not guilty (NOT GUILTY) to membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on December 16th, 2014.

Today, retired army captain Dan Morrow told prosecuting counsel Fiona Murphy BL that on the day of the alleged offence he went to Mitchelstown Cross, County Meath.

The court heard that gardai had stopped a car with two suspect devices inside and required the support of the army's Emergency Ordnance Disposal unit.

Mr Morrow said that he looked at the two devices. He said they were "very well-made" IEDs.

Detective Garda Brian Barry, of the ballistics section, also gave evidence. He told the court that he examined both devices.

The court heard that they were of similar construction, consisting of cylindrical plastic containers and powered by nine-volt batteries. There was a time and power unit inside each container, programmed for an approximately eight-hour run-down time.

Inside each container, the detective said, there was pyrotechnic material, normally used in fireworks.

His conclusion was that they were two "completed and viable" IEDs.

The trial resumes on Monday in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge John O'Hagan and Judge Flann Brennan.

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