Belfast Telegraph

Explosives accused 'a dissident'

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of storing explosives at his west Belfast home is believed to be "deeply involved" with a dissident republican group, a court has heard.

Police claimed Louis McKenna was trusted to keep a substantial amount of suspected pipe-bomb parts, a pistol and bullets.

McKenna (52) was arrested after police searched his Forest Street address on Saturday.

He appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on charges of possessing a firearm, ammunition and bomb parts in suspicious circumstances.

Bail was refused due to the risk of reoffending or interfering with witnesses.

The accused, described by his lawyer as a chronic alcoholic with serious health problems, entered the dock on a crutch. Asked if he understood the charges which are denied, he replied: "Yeah."

District Judge Fiona Bagnall also heard details of the accused's bouts of serious ill-health, including having a tin plate inserted in his leg after a fall.

However, she refused bail and remanded McKenna in custody to appear again by video-link on February 24.

Belfast Telegraph

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