Dublin: Man jailed over bomb threats during Queen's visit

Donal Billings Image copyright RTE
Image caption Donal Billings was sentenced at the Special Criminal Court

A 66-year-old man who made bomb threats during the Queen's visit to Ireland has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison.

Irish police received a call from Donal Billings in May 2011, saying there was a bomb on a bus in Maynooth.

A bag was found on the bus holding a bomb, gunpowder, petrol, a timing-power unit, battery and a fuse.

Mr Billings, of St Bridget's Court, Drumlish, County Longford, was convicted of possessing explosives.

Speaking at the Special Criminal Court, the judge described it as an "outrageous, dangerous and highly irresponsible act, which recklessly exposed the 31 people on the bus, as well as the emergency services, to the very significant risk of injury or death."

He said it was no thanks to Mr Billings that this did not occur.

Billings was also found guilty of four counts of making bomb threats, including one claiming there were two mortars in Dublin Castle during the state banquet for the queen.

Threats were also made that there were bombs on another bus and at the Sinn Féin Headquarters in Dublin but none were found.

The Queen visited the Republic of Ireland in May 2011.

More on this story