Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Man ‘reactivated guns for Real IRA’

An engineer accused of reactivating weapons for dissident republicans acted out of fear for his family's safety, the High Court has heard.

Police allegedly found what a judge described as “a chilling arsenal of death and destruction” during a search for drugs at the Newry home of Bryan McManus.

Component parts for revolvers, pistols, a walking stick converted into a gun and ammunition were among the cache recovered from outbuildings behind the Aileen Terrace house last September, said prosecutors.

McManus (54) faces charges of possessing articles for use in terrorism, possession of firearms in suspicious circumstances, possession with intent to cause fear or violence, and unlawful conversion of a weapon.

He was granted temporary bail to attend his daughter's wedding this month on condition that the deeds to a £150,000 house are surrendered along with the lodging of a £3,000 surety.

Opposing his release, Crown counsel Kate McKay said McManus had admitted reactivating previously deactivated guns.

The barrister said McManus claimed to have been doing it since 2007 for people he believed were dissident republican terrorists.

Although he did not name them, he suspected they were connected to the Real IRA, the court heard. McManus was said to have feared for the safety of his family if he refused.

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