Belfast Telegraph

EU Election 2019

EU candidate Clare Daly defends offer to stand bail for IRA man

A European election candidate has defended offering to pay €5,000 bail for a man arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles to the Irish Republic
A European election candidate has defended offering to pay €5,000 bail for a man arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles to the Irish Republic

By Kevin Doyle

A European election candidate has defended offering to pay €5,000 bail for a man arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles to the Irish Republic.

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 later pleaded guilty to IRA membership 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. It was put to the independent 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" she said. "In this case the person had been incarcerated for over a year and denied bail. Justice delayed is justice denied,

"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."

At the end of the case Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said that the evidence against O Coisdealbha had been "significant" and even "overwhelming".

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