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Man was ordered at gunpoint to hide weapons, court hears

By Paul Higgins

Published 27/10/2016

Edward Francis Corr leaving court yesterday
Edward Francis Corr leaving court yesterday

A man who police believe has links to a dissident republican terror group was ordered to keep three firearms at gunpoint, his solicitor has claimed in court.

A PSNI officer told Craigavon Magistrates’ Court police objected to west Belfast man Edward Francis Corr being released on bail.

He said he feared that if released, the 37-year-old would “re-engage” with the group, and referred to the recent shooting of a man in Poleglass.

Corr, from Foxes Glen in Dunmurry, is accused of having a sub machine-gun and two pistols with intent to endanger life between September 1 and October 24 this year.

A detective sergeant testified that he was aware of the circumstances and believed he could connect the accused with the charges.

Opposing bail, the officer claimed the weapons seizure was linked to the dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) and that the find may have saved the lives of police officers, the security forces and members of the public.

He said police believed Corr was linked to ONH and revealed that his DNA had been uncovered on a cloth with an AK-47 magazine found in Dunmurry in November 2015.

If released, even on stringent bail conditions, the officer claimed that Corr would re-engage with ONH and referred to the shooting of a man from this area.

He added that the defendant could also be a flight risk because ONH operate on both sides of the border and Corr used to reside in Dublin.

Defence solicitor Fearghal McIlhatton said the weapons had been found in a shed and his client had given police an account of how they came to be there.

Mr McIlhatton claimed his client had been “acting under duress”.

The lawyer revealed how Corr had been having a smoke at the side of his house when a man pointed a gun at his head and told him if he didn’t keep the items he would be shot.

In relation to his DNA being found on a cloth almost a year ago, Mr McIlhatton argued his client had never been charged in connection with that.

Mr McIlhatton said Corr worked as a joiner, and had a wife and three children who resided in Dunmurry, so he had family ties in the jurisdiction.

District Judge Mrs Bernie Kelly said that given the officer had expressed serious concern about a flight risk and the possibility of further offences, Corr was not a suitable candidate for bail but he could appeal her decision to the High Court.

Corr was remanded into custody to appear at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court by videolink on Monday, November 14.

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