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Pensioner jailed for firearms and explosives offences




PA Archive/Press Association Images


A 70-year-old man has been sentenced to six and half years for a series of firearms and explosives offences.

Thomas Joseph Maguire, of Suffolk Drive in west Belfast, was arrested in August 2011 when police stopped his car after a high speed chase.

After searching the car, officers found handguns, grenades and ammunition.

Maguire was handed down a six and half year sentence today - half of which will be spent behind bars.

Police said Maguire had been identified from a fingerprint found on part of a gun which was recovered from a workshop in Newry the previous year where they had uncovered a firearms factory.

This was a large-scale munitions factory, thought to have been manufacturing and modifying component parts for gun since 2008 on behalf of dissident republican terrorists.

Detective Superintendent Glenn Wright said that police will leave "no stone unturned in our efforts to bring before the courts all those involved in terrorist-linked offences, regardless of age".

"We will pursue every strand of evidence to ensure we maximise all investigative and forensic opportunities," he said.

"The community which we are pledged to serve and our colleagues who we are determined to protect deserve nothing less. Our work will continue. We would ask people to work with us to keep everyone safe."

Belfast Telegraph