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Man accused of police murder bid seeks bail for son's christening

By George Jackson

Published 01/11/2016

Ruling adjourned: Sean McVeigh
Ruling adjourned: Sean McVeigh

A Co Armagh man charged with attempting to murder a police officer with an under-car booby-trap has had his compassionate bail application to attend his son's christening adjourned.

Sean McVeigh (35), from Victoria Street in Lurgan, is also accused of possessing Semtex explosives with intent to cause an explosion or to endanger life.

The delay is to enable the PSNI to carry out a check on his named surety.

McVeigh is alleged to have committed the offences outside the officer's home in Eglinton on June 18, 2015.

Londonderry Magistrates Court was told the defendant was arrested by Garda in Killygordon, Co Donegal, four hours after the alleged attempted murder bid. The car he was travelling in along with two other men had been stolen and traces of Semtex were found on his clothing and on gloves found inside the vehicle.

The defendant was later released by Garda and lived openly in Dundalk. He was arrested by the PSNI at Portadown railway station on May 16 this year and he has been in custody since on the charges.

A previous bail application by the defendant to visit his newborn son in hospital was refused by the High Court following police objections.

In court yesterday the defendant's solicitor said that a well-respected member of the community in Lurgan was willing to lodge a cash surety of £5,000 and was also willing to accompany him from Maghaberry Prison to the christening and back to the jail.

The solicitor told District Judge Barney McElholm that the surety was a well-known businessman and totally apolitical.

Opposing the application, a detective constable said the defendant was a member of the dissident republican organisation which had claimed responsibility for the murder bid four days after the device was found.

"He holds beliefs that put at risk anyone who works in the service of the Crown," he told the court.

The judge said he had "an open mind" in relation to the compassionate bail application.

He said it would be incongruous for someone to attend a Christian ceremony while at the same time being prepared to break a commandment of any faith in pursuit of political objectives.

Mr McElholm said he would rule on the compassionate bail application next Monday after the police had checked the details of the proposed surety.

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