Charges against trio in CIRA probe brings total to ten

December 22, 2014

Another three men have been remanded in custody in connection with a police investigation into dissident republican activity in the Newry area.

Two of the men, aged 54 and 41, were arrested in Newry on Monday while the third man, aged 44, was arrested in Bessbrook.

These latest arrests follow the detention of 12 men in a police raid at a house in Ardcarne Park in Newry on November 10th.  Seven were subsequently charged with a string of offences including membership of a proscribed organisation and conspiracy to possess explosives an explosion.

On Wednesday Joseph Pearce, of Clogharevan Park, Bessbrook, appeared in court charged with two counts of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.

The court heard the charges were based on covert MI5 recordings of alleged meetings of the dissident Continuity IRA at the house in Ardcarne Park over a three-month period this year.  The prosecutor said Pearce only attended one of the recorded meetings, on October 3 this year and was present for just one hour of what was an extensive encounter.

His lawyer said he denied the charges.

On Thursday Newry men, Kevin Heaney (41) from Mourneview Park and Terrance Marks (54) of Parkhead Crescent appeared before Newry Magistrates Court, sitting in Banbridge.

Both men were charged with membership of a proscribed organization.  Heaney is further accused of taking instruction and training in explosives while Mr Marks is also accused of conspiring to cause an explosion with a device likely to endanger life or property.

A total of ten men have now been charged with offences relating to the undercover MI5 operation.  The men were questioned as part of an investigation into the Continuity IRA and it has been alleged that the security forces had kept the house under surveillance.

All ten men will appear before Newry Magistrates Court via video link on 7th January.