Belfast Telegraph

Massive explosives haul in Dublin destined for Northern Ireland

By Ruaidhri Giblin

One man has been charged with possession of 4kg of TNT that police said was destined for Northern Ireland.

Another has been charged with IRA membership at a Sunday sitting of Dublin's Special Criminal Court.

Heavily armed detectives carrying sub-machine guns stopped a seven-seater taxi during a dramatic raid in the Ballybough area of central Dublin at about 6pm on Friday.

A bomb disposal unit was called and police arrested two men at the scene.

A third man, aged 55, was arrested and released without charge.

The men were arrested as part of an operation into the activities of dissident republicans.

Mairtin Manning, with an unknown address and date of birth, was charged with knowingly possessing an explosive substance - 10 400g blocks of TNT and the explosive head of an RGD-33 hand grenade - at Spring Garden Street, Dublin 3 on June 2.

Declan McDermott, also with an unknown address and date of birth, was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself as the Irish Republican Army, also on June 2.

Solicitor Michael Durcan, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the three-judge court that the DPP had directed that both men be tried in respect of the offences at the non-jury court.

Two members of the Special Detective Unit told the court that they arrested the two defendants outside Clontarf Garda Station yesterday evening under the Offences Against the State Act.

Both were informed that they were to be brought before the next sitting of the Special Criminal Court to be charged.

The officers explained the reason for their arrest and neither accused made any reply.

Wearing a green top and with a beard, McDermott did not stand up when the charge was read to him by the registrar of the court.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding alongside Judge Flann Brennan and Judge Gerard Haughton, remanded both Manning and McDermott in custody to appear before the court on June 9.

An application in respect of bail is expected to be made on both men's behalf on June 12.

The former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, was in court, seated with the men's family and supporters for the brief hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

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