IRA accused linked to car bomb attack on Newry Courthouse

December 12, 2016

A County Meath man currently on trial for IRA membership has been linked to a car bomb attack on Newry Courthouse six years ago. The Special Criminal Court in Dublin heard last week that the probability of DNA found in the debris of the car bomb belonging to someone other than 45 year old Darren Weldon “less than one in a thousand million.”

Mr Weldon, of Drinadaly, Trim, has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself as the Irish Republican Army on October 14th, 2014.

On Tuesday last, Dr John Gibson of the Forensic Science Lab in Dublin,  told prosecuting counsel that he had compared a DNA sample taken from the accused to another DNA profile, received from the UK’s forensic science services.  It is understood the DNA profile had been generated from a number plate found in the debris of the car bomb, which exploded outside Newry courthouse on February 22nd, 2010.

Dr Gibson said he assessed the probability of the two samples being a match and that the chance of finding another match for the DNA found on the number plate from somebody unrelated to Mr Weldon was “considerably less than one in a thousand million”.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel, the doctor agreed that it was not possible to say how the DNA was deposited, nor how long it had been there. He also said a secondary or tertiary transfer was possible.

Earlier, Chloe Holland, assistant scientific officer at Forensic Science Northern Ireland, told the court that she recovered DNA from the top and bottom edges of a number plate.

The trial continues.