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Alleged dissident republicans secretly recorded at Co Louth hotel discussing murder attempts, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 20/10/2015

Alleged dissident republicans were secretly recorded at a Co Louth hotel discussing murder attempts and bombings, a court heard today.

Police revealed details of the covert surveillance operation as a man charged with directing terrorism was refused bail.

Carl Reilly, of Pollard Close in Belfast, is also accused of membership of a proscribed organisation, namely Oglaigh na hEireann.

The 39-year-old, who appeared before magistrates in the city amid heavy security, was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into dissident republican activity.

A co-accused, 40-year-old Paul Crawford from Carrickree Mews in Warrenpoint, Co Down, has also been charged with belonging to the outlawed organisation.

Reilly is alleged to have committed the offences on dates between Januiary 2014 and October 17 this year.

He smiled and acknowledged friends and supporters packed into the public gallery at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Defence lawyers have raised jurisdictional issues about a bugging operation carried out by gardai in the Irish Republic.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall heard the alleged meetings took place at the Carrickdale Hotel in Dundalk.

A detective sergeant said CCTV footage shows two men entering the premises.

One of them, alleged to be Reilly, is heard on the tapes talking about "losing men in Belfast" to Maghaberry Prison.

It was claimed that the conversation continued: "The f****** Branch are buzzing us.

"I have done more f****** attempted murders and more bombings."

Later in the discussions one of those present allegedly expressed a desire to "get something done down here", the court heard.

According to police he added: "I'm not asking the impossible."

Reilly's solicitor, Peter Corrigan, said it was not accepted that Reilly's voice is on the tapes.

He argued that the accused could be released on bail under tight conditions.

But denying the release application, Judge Bagnall held there was a risk of re-offending.

She remanded Reilly in custody to appear again by video-link on November 17.

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