Belfast Telegraph

Arms haul accused on way to bury the weapons, court hears

By Claire McNeilly

Arms and ammunition discovered in a car in south Armagh were not intended to kill anybody, a court has heard.

Three suspects, who were yesterday remanded in custody until next month, told police that the large weapons cache was to be buried.

Brian Anthony Sheridan (34), from Avonmore, Blackwatertown, Co Armagh, 35-year-old Brian Francis Cavlan, from Circular Road, Dungannon, and Dominic Edward Dynes (39), from Bree, Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, appeared at Newry Magistrates Court charged with terrorism offences.

Each of the accused faced three separate charges of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, preparing for acts of terrorism and having articles likely to be of use to terrorists.

The defendants, who were flanked by six police officers in the dock, did not stand while the charges were put to them.

They also refused to identify themselves.

But defence solicitor John Finucane told Magistrate Paul Copeland that all three were present.

Detective Sergeant Ronnie Gibson, from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Unit, told the court he could connect all three men to the charges.

He said that when charged, Sheridan said the weapons and ammunition “were to be taken to a location to be buried and were not to be used to harm”.

The detective said Calvan told him he was “moving the weapons and ammunition for the purpose of burying them” and that they were “not intended for any use”.

Newry Magistrates Court also heard that Dynes did not say anything when charged by police over the offences.

However, he had made a pre-statement saying that he “was told to bury the weapons found in the car that he was driving and he had no intent to use them at any time to shoot or kill anybody, carry out any robbery or any show of strength”.

Detective Sergeant Gibson confirmed that a shovel was found in the Citroen car stopped by police on April 22 and that it appeared to have been used.

Police said a “substantial amount” of machine-guns and rifles were found in a vehicle during a joint PSNI and Garda operation in Keady.

Dressed casually in T-shirts and jeans, two of the three suspects smiled across at the public gallery during the proceedings. The magistrate remanded the three men in custody and they are due to reappear via videolink at Armagh Magistrates Court on May 17.

There was a heavy police presence around Newry yesterday and the court was full of officers in body armour, as well as relatives of the defendants.

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