Saturday 18 November 2017

'Loose cannon' dissident knew his victim from earlier arrest

Flowers are left at Omeath Garda Station
Flowers are left at Omeath Garda Station Newsdesk Newsdesk

The dissident terrorist who murdered Garda Tony Golden had been caught with component parts for pipe bombs in his house when it was raided by gardaí last January.

Adrian Crevan Mackin (24) was well known to the Garda and the PSNI as a suspected member of a breakaway renegade faction, who styled themselves Óglaigh na hÉireann.

The group was formed by a former associate of jailed terrorist Michael McKevitt after a split in the Real IRA, which they had both founded. Mackin had regularly been monitored by the gardaí and the PSNI over the past few years.

His home at Mullach Alainn, in Omeath, Co Louth, was raided by anti-terrorist gardaí in January as part of a cross-Border police investigation into the activities of the dissident group in the Dundalk/Newry area.

During a search, officers found and seized component parts for several pipe bombs. The DPP ruled there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge of possession of explosives.

Instead, Mackin was charged with membership of an illegal organisation and his case was to come before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin again this month.

Mackin, who was originally from Rostrevor, Co Down, but has also had an address in Newry, was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA, on January 16.

He was remanded in custody by the three-judge court for four days before he successfully applied for bail for his client.

The State did not object to bail but counsel sought and was granted stringent bail conditions, including that he sign on regularly at his local garda station. He knew Garda Tony Golden, who was one of four based at the station.

Suspected dissidents on membership charges are often granted bail unless gardaí can prove that the suspect is a flight risk or is likely to commit another offence, if granted bail. Judges are also likely to have taken into consideration that there is a backlog of over two years in dealing with cases before the court, which leaves those remanded in custody facing a lengthy wait for their trials.

Mackin had come to police notice during several investigations north and south of the Border in the past few years. He was a suspect for an armed robbery in Newry around the time that Det Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead outside a credit union at Lordship, Bellurgan, near Dundalk, in January 2013.

Mackin was described by one garda who investigated him as "a loose cannon". In 2012 he was charged with possession of 23 "extreme pornographic images" including photographs of women having sex with animals.

Irish Independent

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