Sunday 25 August 2019

Daly defends bail offer for explosives accused

  

TD Clare Daly. Photo: Tom Burke
TD Clare Daly. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

An MEP candidate has defended offering to pay €5,000 bail for a man who was arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles.

Clare Daly said her interest in the case was purely on human rights grounds because she felt Donal O Coisdealbha was in custody too long without a trial.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Ms Daly was speaking in the context of her disapproval of increased military spending by the EU.

On Independent.ie's 'Floating Voter' podcast, it was put to the Fingal TD that her strong opposition to EU defence activities didn't sit with her support of O Coisdealbha.

"I wasn't saying don't investigate that person or give them a trial. In this case, the person had been incarcerated for over a year and denied bail. Justice delayed is justice denied," she said. Ms Daly did not believe the Dublin man was a danger to the public.

"He hadn't physically been found responsible [at that stage]. I certainly didn't give support to his actions. He denied his involvement at certain stages and then he changed his tune," she said.

At the conclusion of the case, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding at the three-judge, non-jury Special Criminal Court, said that the evidence against O Coisdealbha was "significant" and even "overwhelming".

Irish Independent

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