Belfast Telegraph

Seamus McGuigan faces trial over bid to set off bomb near special school

By Staff Reporter

A man has been ordered to stand trial accused of having a mobile phone allegedly used by dissident republicans when they tried to remotely detonate a bomb outside a school.

At Craigavon Magistrates Court, 45-year-old James Seamus McGuigan, from North Street in Lurgan, was charged with possessing a mobile phone and SIM card in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion their possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism on dates between October 8 and October 18, 2013.

The charges arose after an explosive device was uncovered in Sloan Street in Lurgan in October 2013.

Previous courts have heard terrorists tried four times to remotely detonate a no-warning bomb beside a special needs school.

Describing McGuigan as a "dissident republican", a detective constable outlined how a mobile phone was strapped to the bomb so that it could be detonated remotely.

He said police investigations indicated that terrorists had tried to detonate the device.

They then called Craigavon Area Hospital to issue a bomb warning claiming to be from the Real IRA.

That call resulted in the school, another nearby primary school and several homes being evacuated, the police officer said.

The officer claimed McGuigan could be linked to the incident as a SIM card used in the bomb had originated from him.

He added that McGuigan's fingerprints were also found in the phone box in the Seagoe Industrial Estate which had been used to call the hospital.

None of the claims were opened in court yesterday, but a prosecuting lawyer submitted that there was a prima facie case against McGuigan based on the evidence and statements.

Deputy District Judge Sean O'Hare said he was satisfied there was a case to answer and returned the charges to the Crown Court for trial.

McGuigan was remanded on his own bail of £700, with two sureties of £2,500 and £2,000, to appear for arraignment at Laganside Court in Belfast on a date to be fixed.

Conditions of his release include a curfew from 8.30pm until 7am, an order that he signs three times a week at Lurgan police station, and is electronically tagged.

McGuigan is also not allowed to leave Northern Ireland, must surrender his passport and is not to be in possession of a mobile phone.

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