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'Colombia 3' relative appears in court over 'bomb plot'


James Monaghan

James Monaghan

James Monaghan

A relative of 'Colombia 3' IRA member James Monaghan was one of three men who appeared in the Special Criminal Court yesterday on firearms, explosives and IRA membership charges.

Donal O Coisdealbha (24), of Abbeyfield, Killester, Dublin 5, was charged with IRA membership and with possessing a timer power unit (TPU) at Profector Life Sciences based at Maynooth University. He was also charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

The court heard that O Coisdealbha, formerly Costigan, made no reply when charged by members of the Garda Special Detective Unit yesterday morning.

Jim 'Mortar' Monaghan was arrested in August 2001 in Bogota amid claims that the Provisional IRA had been training the Farc, Marxist terrorists. Also arrested were Niall Connolly from Dublin and Martin McCauley from Armagh. The three were eventually released on bail and fled Colombia, returning to Ireland via Venezuela. Monaghan maintained he and the others were in Colombia to assist in a 'peace process', but the authorities there said there was evidence the Farc guerrilla group began using mortars and bombs identical in construction to those used by the Provisional IRA at the time.

Monaghan sat in the court yesterday for O Coisdealbha's hearing and left without making any comment.

Also before the court was Seamus McGrane (60), of Little Road Dromiskin, Co Louth. He was charged with directing terrorism and IRA membership on dates between December 23, 2009 and May 13, 2015. A detective told the court he arrested McGrane at a station in Dublin 4 yesterday morning and read the charges to him. McGrane made no reply.

Dylan Cahill (22), of 102 Lower Irishtown, Clonmel Co Tipperary, was also charged with IRA membership and possession of a 0.380 semi-automatic pistol, four rounds of ammunition and two improvised explosive devices commonly known as pipe bombs at Sradrine, Glenfarne, Co Leitrim on May 13. All three were remanded in custody.

Sunday Independent