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Men charged with bomb plot ahead of Charles visit

THREE men appeared in court in Dublin charged with terrorism offences, days before Prince Charles is due to visit Ireland.

Leading republican Séamus McGrane, Donal O Coisdealbha - a stepson of Jim Monaghan of the 'Colombia Three' - and Dylan Cahill were all accused of IRA membership at a Saturday sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court. Mr Monaghan, who fled Columbia after being convicted of training Farc rebels, was present in court.

McGrane (60), of Little Road, Domiskin, Co Louth, was further charged with directing terrorism on dates between December 2009 and May 2015.

Donal O Coisdealbha, a 23-year-old student of Abbey-field, Killester Dublin 15 was also charged with having the timer for a bomb at his storage locker at NUI Maynooth.

The third man Dylan Cahill (22), of Lower Irishtown, Clonmel, Co Tipperary was accused of possessing a .380 calibre Colt semi-automatic pistol, four rounds of ammunition and two pipe bombs.

McGrane was remanded in custody until June 9 while the other men were remanded in custody until Wednesday.

McGrane, a former senior member of the Provisional IRA, was previously jailed for four years for taking part in a Real IRA training camp in Co Meath in October 1999.

When an application for bail tomorrow was proposed for Cahill, Liam Mulholland, prosecuting, said "gardaí are extremely busy that day," due to the visit of Prince Charles.

The men appeared before a Saturday sitting of the non- jury Special Criminal Court.

They had been arrested by members of the Special Detective Unit as part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of dissident republicans.

Solicitor Kieran Conway, who represented O Coisdealbha, is a former director of intelligence for the IRA.

From south Co Dublin, Mr Conway wrote a tell-all book Southside Provisional - From Freedom Fighter to the Four Courts - about his life in the IRA.

Prince Charles is to arrive in the Republic tomorrow for a two-day visit before heading north for engagements on Thursday and Friday.

He is to go to Mullaghmore in Sligo where his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979.

It will be the first official joint visit by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

It follows the successful state visit of Queen Elizabeth to Dublin and Cork in 2011 - the first by a British monarch in 100 years.

The British royal couple will attend a service of peace and reconciliation at St Columba's Church, in Drumcliffe, Co Sligo where Nobel Prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats in buried.

Their trip to the Republic will also include a visit to Burren in Co Clare while in Galway, they are due to attend a celebration of Irish culture at the National University of Ireland.

The couple are also expected to visit the peace and reconciliation centre at Corrymeela, in Co Antrim during their trip to the north.

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