Pipe-bomb charge men remanded
Two neighbours facing explosives charges linked to dissident republicanism were cheered by supporters as they appeared in court.
Around 15 men clapped William Wong (21) and Niall Malachy Ward (23) as they were remanded in custody at Newry Magistrates Court yesterday accused of possessing pipe-bombs.
The pair, both from Dalton Close in Armagh, were arrested in their home city last Thursday as part of a police operation against dissidents.
Wong was further charged with conspiring to cause a terrorist act after latex gloves and a lighter were found in his possession when he was taken into custody.
Three other men and two women arrested at the weekend as part of the same operation against dissidents in Armagh have since been released without charge.
Security was tight at Newry Courthouse for the brief hearing yesterday, with armed police flanking the dock as the defendants were led in.
The building was badly damaged in a dissident republican car bomb explosion last month and has only recently reopened.
Wong did not speak in court, only raising his hand to acknowledge his name when it was read out. Shaven-headed Ward replied “yes” when asked to confirm his identity.
A police detective told magistrate Rosalie Prytherch that he could connect the two accused with the charges.
The defendants' solicitor made no application for bail and the judge remanded the pair in custody to appear at Armagh Court via videolink on March 30.