Explosives accused teen has bail variation plea refused

September 14, 2015

A Mullaghbawn teenager who has been accused of making explosives for dissident republicans has had her request to have her bail terms altered to allow a move to the Republic denied.

Orla O’Hanlon (19) is scheduled to face trial in November, alongside her boyfriend and co-accused Keith McConnon, charged with a number of offences including making and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life or property.

The couple were arrested following police searches of their home on the Tievecrum Road, Forkhill in December 2013 when a number of items including an industrial size grinder were seized.

O’Hanlon initially spent time in custody before being released on bail subject to strict conditions such as living at her parent’s address, being electronically tagged and observing a 9pm to 7am curfew.

Appearing at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, an application was made for O’Hanlon’s bail conditions to be varied to allow her to live with McConnon’s parents in Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Objecting to the request, prosecutor Robin Steer said if she was allowed to move across the border, several bail conditions could not be properly monitored.

O’Hanlon has denied all the charges levelled against her and has claimed the grinder seized during the search of her home was a normal household item she used for baking.

Judge Sandra Crawford refused the application.