Sunday 17 December 2017

Man arrested after massive car bomb was found at hotel 'was caught virtually red handed in possession of explosives,' court hears

Finnstown House Hotel. Photo: El Keegan
Finnstown House Hotel. Photo: El Keegan

Diarmaid Mac Dermott

A Northern Ireland man was arrested hours after a massive car bomb was discovered at a Co Dublin hotel last year when detectives found detonating cord in his rented apartment, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Detective Inspector William Hanrahan, Special Detective Unit, said that Samuel Devlin had rented the apartment  in the grounds of Finnstown House at Lucan under a false name and was caught virtually “red handed” in possession of explosives.

He opposed bail for Devlin and said that after his arrest he refused to give his name, address or date of birth to gardai. The Detective Inspector said that Devlin, a native of Co Tyrone, has no family ties in the jurisdiction and had moved to the State in 2002.

Detective Inspector Hanrahan said that the prosecution would allege  at the trial that the Special Detective Unit has received confidential information that Devlin  had rented the apartment to carry out an IRA operation at the hotel.

He said that gardai received a call on Saturday, May 10th last year and a car bomb was located at the hotel and a wedding party that was underway at the time had to be evacuated.

Devlin was seen returning to his apartment around 10.15 the next morning and when members of the Emergency Response Unit entered it and arrested Devlin, they found 26 metres of detonating cord containing the  explosive PETN in a computer laptop bag

Samuel Devlin (55) , with an address at Golf Suite, Finnstown House Hotel, Lucan, Co Dublin is charged with the unlawful possession of the explosive substance (PETN) at the same address on May 11, 2014.

He is also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on May 11, 2014. 

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the three judge court, said that Devlin was “a definite flight risk” as he had no ties in the jurisdiction, had rented the apartment under a false name and had refused to give the gardai his name or address.

Devlin was remanded in continuing custody until next February when his trial is due to take place.

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