A science graduate was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for possessing parts for pipe bombs.
However, the three-judge Special Criminal Court in the Republic suspended half of the jail term imposed on Ciaran Cahill (36), of Glenville Drive, Castleknock, Dublin, after he gave assurances of good behaviour in the future.
Cahill pleaded guilty on February 12 to unlawfully possessing explosive substances, namely five pipe-bomb casings, at a property on Ulster Street, Phibsboro, in Dublin, on March 26 2009
Det Gda Thomas Maguire told the court that a balaclava and a bag containing the casings were discovered in a shed at the property during a Garda raid.
The casings were not filled with explosive substances and were “not drilled for fuses” — but they were considered to be components for explosive devices under the relevant legislation.
Cahill's DNA was obtained from the handle of the shopping bag. He was arrested and interviewed by gardai with whom he “co-operated in significant detail”.
The court heard that Cahill had been “a highly thought of” science student at a university in the UK before his return to Ireland.
The Special Criminal Court said it considered the offence to be “very serious” but it held that Cahill had previously lived “a relatively blameless life”.
The effective jail term of two-and-a-half years was backdated to August 2009.