Real IRA leader Séamus McGrane was bugged by gardaí in a popular Dublin pub as he plotted a bomb attack in the run-up to Prince Charles’s visit in 2015
A Real IRA leader was bugged by gardaí in a popular Dublin pub as he plotted a bomb attack in the run-up to Prince Charles’s visit in 2015.
The Garda National Surveillance Unit planted the sophisticated device in the snug of the Coachman’s Inn on the Airport Road, which recorded Real IRA boss Séamus McGrane and engineering graduate Donal Ó Coisdealbha discussing the bomb plot.
And yesterday McGrane became only the second person in the State to be convicted of directing terrorism. He was also convicted of IRA membership.
The Special Criminal Court heard yesterday that McGrane, 63, and Ó Coisdealbha, who was jailed last year in connection with the bomb plot, were kept under surveillance by gardaí in the months leading up to the royal visit in May 2015.
The men met at the Coachman’s Inn, a popular family spot, in January 2015 and further meetings occurred between them in the same pub in February, March, April and May of that year.
Garda detectives bugged the pub for the April and May meetings.
McGrane had issued instructions to Ó Coisdealbha, 25, regarding meeting other people and had made statements about providing bomb-making material for others.
He instructed Ó Coisdealbha, an engineering graduate who worked in a biomedical company at NUI Maynooth at the time, to ‘reactivate the science graduate’ to get advice on explosives.
McGrane and engineering graduate Donal Ó Coisdealbha discussed detonating a device during Prince Charles' visit. McGrane was heard mentioning its 'military significance'
He told him to contact ‘motorbike man’ to collect the explosives, to clean out the cylinder and return the bike, not to dispose of it.
McGrane told Ó Coisdealbha: ‘Go with whatever plan you wish. I think he’s coming on the 19th [a reference to Prince Charles]. I don’t like an embarrassment.’
He then mentioned ‘military significance’. ‘Symbolic,’ Ó Coisdealbha replied. ‘Symbolic is right,’ replied McGrane.
The two men were heard in the recording of April 19 discussing a location ‘around 400 metres from the target’.