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Former Sinn Fein man’s son jailed over explosives

A son of a former Sinn Fein councillor has been jailed for 12 years for grinding down fertiliser to be used to make pipe-bombs

Jailing 36-year-old Turlough Robert McAllister at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Hart told him he was “clearly deeply involved in an effort to construct viable pipe-bombs”.

McAllister, from Lisarraw Road in Crossmaglen, who admitted making and possessing explosives on September 14, 2008, was caught red-handed in his grandmother's former home at The Square, Crossmaglen, operating an industrial-sized coffee grinder.

Going through the grinder into a black bin bag was ammonium-nitrate based fertiliser, commonly used in explosives. In the back bedroom were other bags estimated to contain “some tens of kilograms of fertiliser”.

A follow-up search uncovered a number of shotgun cartridges, and pipe-bomb making equipment, while an improvised munitions handbook was also found in his own home, all of which he also admitted having.

Mr Justice Hart said that time and again the courts have had to make it clear “that such offences will result in substantial sentences”.

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