Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Omagh bomb suspect linked to Forkhill explosives, court hears

The trial of a young Forkhill couple, who are facing a range of offences including making and possessing explosives, has heard that a man suspected of involvement in the Omagh bombing allegedly supplied explosives that were found in the couple’s home.

The claim was made during the trial of Keith McConnon (21) and Orla O’Hanlon (20) who were arrested in December 2013 after their Tievecrom Road home was searched by police.

The searches uncovered an industrial grinder, a “complete” timer power unit and crushed ammonium nitrate fertiliser – which the Crown say has been “encountered in improvised explosive substances” in the past.

The pair both deny the charges at their non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court, which opened on Monday last.

During defense cross-examination on Thursday, a PSNI detective constable confirmed that a man named only as ‘Mr X’ had been arrested and questioned over the 1998 Omagh bomb atrocity.  When asked by Barry MacDonald, acting for McConnon, if he was aware that ‘Mr X’ had allegedly supplied ammonium nitrate that was found in the house, the officer said he wasn’t.

Under further questioning, the detective said during his research into “Mr X’ he discovered that he had been one of 50 people arrested as part of the Omagh investigation.  He also told the court that he had been arrested by Garda detectives in connection with the find at the Forkhill house of McConnon and O’Hanlon, but was not charged in connection with it.

The trial continues.