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Car bomb murder bid charge man Peter Granaghan refused bail

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The bomb under a car at Shandon Park Golf Club

The bomb under a car at Shandon Park Golf Club

The bomb under a car at Shandon Park Golf Club

A man charged with attempting to murder a police officer has failed in a new bid to be released from custody.

Peter Granaghan, 39, was refused bail amid prosecution claims he is still associating with supporters of "violent dissident republicanism" and may flee.

Belfast Magistrates' Court also heard that a partial DNA profile on a bomb planted under the policeman's car is a billion times more likely to come from the accused than anyone else.

The off-duty officer discovered the device attached to his vehicle at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast on June 1 last year.

Army technicians carried out a controlled explosion at the scene and seized items for forensic examination.

Dissident terror grouping The New IRA later claimed responsibility for the thwarted attack.

Granaghan, of Blackrock Park in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, faces further counts of making and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He denies any involvement, with his barrister insisting the case against him is based entirely on weak forensic evidence.

But disputing the defence assessment, a Crown lawyer argued that samples obtained from wiring and a battery connector on the device matched Granaghan.

"While it's a partial profile, the finding is that it's at least a billion times more likely to be DNA that came from Mr Granaghan than any unknown individual," he said.

District Judge George Conner was also told memorabilia "suggestive of a sympathy towards violent republicanism" was recovered from the accused's home.

According to the prosecution Granaghan has also been visited in prison by individuals with terror-related convictions - including one man who left Northern Ireland while on bail.

"There's a real basis for the fear that he may be the next in a developing pattern of dissident republicans who seek to evade their trial by leaving the jurisdiction," counsel submitted.

Joseph O'Keeffe, defending, countered that any breaches committed by others had nothing to do with his client.

"It's an indication of the weakness of the primary evidence that the prosecution are forced to rely on prison visits, which have no relevance to the alleged offences," he contended.

Refusing bail, however, Judge Conner ruled there was insufficient change in circumstances.

He remanded Granaghan in custody to appear again in four weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph