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Independent TD defends attempt to post bail for man accused of involvement in plot to bomb Prince Charles visit

Maureen O’Sullivan says the issue is about human rights.

DalyWallace Source: RollingNews.ie

INDEPENDENT TD MAUREEN O’Sullivan has defended the actions of herself and fellow independents Clare Daly and Mick Wallace after they offered to post bail for a man accused of IRA membership.

The three had offered to stand as €5,000 sureties for 24-year-old Dublin man Donal O Coisdealbha, who was arrested in May.

Gardaí yesterday told the Special Criminal Court that the man had been found in possession of a component of an explosive device after they had found “advanced plans” to stage an attack during the visit of Prince Charles this year.

The TDs were among a group of people who had offered to act as independent sureties in the case.

While acknowledging the charges are serious, O’Sullivan told TheJournal.ie that they are just that – charges.

She added that the trio had attempted to make a point about the length of remand – the period someone is held in custody before their trial – in Ireland.

“It was not necessarily to do with this person, though I would have known his family.

We were there because of the length of remands for prisoners. People aren’t being brought to court in a speedy manner. There are serious charges against the man, absolutely. Nobody is condoning the use of physical force against people, but we’ve met people who were on remand for two years, then been found innocent.

O’Sullivan said that the trial could take up to three years to be heard, though legal sources say it would be closer to 18 months.

She says that the gardaí argued for the refusal because of a risk of reoffending, but O’Sullivan argues that O Coisealbha hasn’t been found guilty of any offence.

“These are just charges at the moment.

We are approaching this from the human rights aspect. We do not bring people to trial in a speedy manner.

“I would hope people would step back and see that this was not his trial and he has not been found guilty of anything.”

O’Sullivan said that the man was willing to abide by “very strict” conditions, but that the application was refused.

Comments on this article are closed as the matter is before the courts.

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