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Shot IRA woman’s brother on bomb charge

The brother of an IRA bomber shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar has been remanded in custody charged with a bomb attack on Newry courthouse.

Ciaran Farrell, whose sister Mairead was one of three republicans gunned down by the SAS in 1988, this morning stood in the dock of the same magistrates court that he is accused of blowing up.

The 51-year-old was arrested in Dunmurry on Monday in connection with the dissident republican car bombing in February.

He was charged with causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause damage to property.

Farrell is the brother of Mairead Farrell, part of an IRA unit shot dead by security officers in one of the most controversial incidents of the Troubles.

The three-person unit was shot dead as they attempted to plant a 500lb car bomb near the British Governor's residence in Gibraltar.

Two others — Daniel McCann (30) and Sean Savage (24) — were also killed.

Ciaran Farrell, from Killeaton Park, Dunmurry, and a married father of two teenage boys, is accused of unlawfully and maliciously planting the car bomb in a manner likely to endanger life or damage property.

His solicitor, Sean Doherty, said he emphatically denied the charges.

The charge relates to the Newry attack when police were given just 20 minutes to clear the area before the 250lb car bomb exploded on February 22.

At the time police officers said it was a “miracle” that no-one was killed or injured in the attack, which was blamed on dissident republicans.

Police Chief Inspector Sam Cordner said: “It is only by sheer miracle that nobody was killed or injured.”

Officers were evacuating the area when the bomb went off in New Street around 10pm.

Belfast Telegraph