Dissident murder plot accused refused bail

A Lurgan man accused of involvement with a dissident republican murder plot was described as a member 'of an active service unit of the IRA'.

Saturday, 8th October 2016, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:07 pm
Security searches Lurgan - 21st September, 2016. Photograph by Declan Roughan.

Ciaran Magee (24) appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court via videolink from Maghaberry Prison on Friday, where he is on remand accused of preparation of terrorist acts, namely targeting a former member of the security forces on September 2 this year.

Facing the same charge are Damien Duffy (46), of Westclare Court, Dungannon, Ciaran Magee (24), of Lake Street, Lurgan, and Shea Reynolds (22), of Kilwilke Road, also in Lurgan.

A fourth man, Luke O’Neill (22), of Silverwood Green, Lurgan, is accused of attempting to murder police officers between August 30 and September 2 this year, and possession of explosives with intent to endanger life.

The court heard the men were arrested after a large-scale security operation during which police recovered a fully-prepared projectile ready for deployment.

During an unsuccessful bail application for Magee, a detective constable told the court how police received information that a rucksack had been moved from the site of a former factory in Lurgan.

Surveillance was carried out on what he described as “an active service unit of the IRA,” with claims that Magee was in a car with one of the other members of the unit.

A hidden camera had been placed near the home of a former police officer and there were images on a storage card.

The officer said police objected to bail because of the possibility of re-offending as the offence had allegedly committed while Magee was on bail for riot.

He claimed Magee was a member of an active service unit of the IRA and this was considered a threat to national security.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan told the court Magee would “vehemently deny” he is part of an active service unit, submitting there was no evidence to connect him to the camera, no fingerprints and no forensics

Deputy District Judge Amanda Brady refused bail, remanding Magee into custody to appear again via videolink on October 21.