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Dublin man jailed for four years for being a member of the IRA

His number plate was found in the debris of a car bomb in Newry.

A DUBLIN MAN whose DNA was found on a number plate used in a car bomb attack at Newry courthouse in 2010 was jailed for four years today by the Special Criminal Court for membership of a dissident terrorist organisation.

DNA evidence linked Darren Weldon to a number plate found in the debris of a car bomb which exploded outside Newry courthouse on 22 February 2010.

Weldon (45), a native of Kilbarrack, Dublin with an address at Drinadaly in Trim, Co Meath, was convicted last month of being a member of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Óglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on 14 October 2014.

Explosion

During the trial, the court heard evidence that on 22 February 2010, a car bomb exploded outside Newry courthouse. In the aftermath, within the debris, PSNI officers found the car’s registration plate.

Weldon was arrested four years later. While in custody gardaí took DNA swabs, which were compared to a DNA profile found on the registration plate and the samples matched.

Weldon had been arrested before, in September 2012, for suspected IRA membership, after attending the funeral of Alan Ryan.

Alan Ryan was one of six men jailed for taking part in a “Real IRA” training camp in Co Meath in October, 1999. He was shot dead in 2012.

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The court heard evidence of a WhatsApp picture message, dedicated to Alan Ryan, found on Weldon’s phone.

The message said: “Heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the consequences.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan, head of security and intelligence at garda headquarters, told the trial that he believed, on the basis of confidential information, Weldon was a member of the IRA.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, said the court sentenced him to five years imprisonment but suspended the final year of the sentence.

Read: Dublin man who committed robberies while out on bail gets sentenced to eight years>

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Diarmaid Mac Dermott

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