Trial set for men charged for having beer keg with explosives

Three men alleged to have had home-made explosives in possession in Co Louth last May

The Special Criminal Court has set a date for the trial of three men charged with possession of explosive devices including an adapted beer keg.

The men were arrested in May by members of An Garda Síochána’s Special Detective Unit as part of ongoing investigations into the activities of dissident republicans.

Gareth Mulley (45) with an address at Ashling Park, Dundalk Co Louth; David Gallagher (37), of Marley Court, Drogheda, Co Louth; and William Burns (38) of Kerrera Street, Ardoyne, Belfast, Co Antrim, were before the court.

All three are charged with possession of an explosive substance on May 25th, 2014, at Kilcurry, Co Louth.


They are alleged to have had in their possession PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate) and RDX (cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine), an adapted 50 litre beer keg, 50kgs of ammonium nitrate home-made explosive, an improvised detonation cord, improvised steel booster tube and improvised time and power unit.

Mr Mulley and Mr Gallagher are also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself as Oglaigh na hÉireann otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA.

Tony McGillicuddy BL, for the State, had asked the three-judge court for a trial date. Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy, presiding, was told that the trial was expected to last two to three weeks.

She set the first available date, July 5th, 2016. She also made ‘all appropriate’ witness orders and ordered that the defence be given tapes of the garda interviews.

She then warned the men that if they planned to adduce evidence of an alibi, they must do so within the next two weeks. She also warned them that if they planned to call witnesses, they must give notice 21 days before the trial.

Counsel for Mr Burns, Michael Bowman SC, asked the judges for a variation in his client’s bail conditions so that he could work as a taxi driver in Belfast at night.

The court removed a curfew previously set.

Patrick Gageby SC, for Mr Mulley, asked for a mention date for his client in the New Year in order to “extradite matters”.

Ms Justice Murphy put his case in for Tuesday, January 20th.