Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Maghaberry Prison note accused a dissident, court told

Maghaberry Prison
Maghaberry Prison

A man caught trying to smuggle a "disciplinary note" into Maghaberry Prison earlier this month "is actively involved in dissident republican terrorism", a court has been told.

Amid heavy security, a detective constable told Londonderry's magistrates court that the note, written on cigarette paper and wrapped in cling film, was discovered when William Martin McDonnell of Rinmore Drive in the Creggan area was searched at the jail on June 5.

She said she believed the note was an attempt by a senior figure in the IRA to stamp authority on dissident republican remand prisoners in relation to their guilty pleas to terrorist offences.

The officer said the note also referred to informers in the context of "a number of failed operations and the arrests of people involved in terrorist activity in Londonderry".

McDonnell is charged with having an article for use in terrorism, and not notifying the police of his living arrangements.

McDonnell, who denies the charges, was jailed for seven months last September for possessing articles for use in terrorism and must inform police about certain periods of absence from his home.

But the officer said police called at his home on June 19, 20, 21 and 22, and the defendant was not present.

Bail was refused and McDonnell will appear again by video-link on July 23.

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