Northern Ireland news

Dublin man convicted of IRA membership after supplying car used in Belfast bomb attack

The device was found under a police officer's car at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast. Picture by David Young/PA Wire

A DUBLIN man was yesterday convicted of IRA membership after supplying a car used in a bomb attack on a police officer in east Belfast.

Robert O'Leary (42) from Clancy Road, Finglas, sold the car used to plant a bomb under the officer's car.

The device was discovered under the vehicle at Shandon Park Golf Club last year.

O'Leary had denied all involvement saying he would "never, never, never " take part in an IRA operation.

Described in court as an "Arthur Daly" type used-car dealer, he had denied membership of the IRA.

The court heard O'Leary had "put forward an implausible and false narrative" and got the car - a Skoda Octavia - for a customer for a specific purpose.

It also found he "invented the purchaser - some mysterious man - to break the link between him and the car".

The court also was told that the Skoda was used to survey the area around the police officer's home and stopped nearby for three minutes while the device was planted under his car.

O'Leary denied any involvement, arguing that "never in a million years" would he source a car for use in an IRA operation. He insisted all he did was sell a car without a log book.

He is due to be sentenced on October 5.

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