28 December 2003

British soldier taken from ferry 'had weapons in bag'
—by Tom Brady, Irish Independent

A BRITISH Army officer was taken off a B and I ferry by gardai at
Dublin port on the evening of the Dublin bombings and weapons were found in his bag.

This astonishing information is contained in an Irish Army
intelligence report examined by the Barron inquiry. But no reference
to the arrest or the find appears in Garda records and no further
developments were reported.

At lunchtime on the day of the bombings, a telephone caller told
gardai he was worried that a white van with an English registration
parked outside the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on Portland
Row might contain a bomb.

Garda records show that details of the alleged registration were
taken, but those numbers were shown later not to have been issued.
At around 5.10pm the gardai received a second call from the witness
and agreed to send a patrol to examine the van. When two gardai
arrived at the scene they were met by the witness who told them a
man had driven the van away towards Sheriff Street.

Shortly afterwards the bombs went off. The witness called gardai
several times after and at 6.30 he was taken by a garda car to the
docks. The witness saw the same van in the deep sea area of the B
and I ferry port. Gardai searched the van and found a British Army

The Barron report shows that through allowing witnesses to examine
photographs of suspected loyalists, the Dublin investigation team
found three witnesses who identified David Alexander Mulholland,
described by the gardai as a member of the UVF with a history of
involvement in car bomb blasts as being in the green Hillman car
which contained the Parnell Street bomb.

Gardai received no specific intelligence warning although a general
alert for key-holders to watch out for firebombs was issued on May

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