Man in court on 'Real IRA' charge

24 June, 2006
BBC News

A County Armagh man has appeared in court accused of being second-in-command of the Real IRA. Paul McCaugherty, 39, from Beech Court, Lurgan, was arrested in connection with what police believe was an international gun-smuggling operation. He is also charged with conspiring to murder members of the security forces in Northern Ireland between 24 May 2005 and 19 June 2006.

He made no reply to a total of six charges and was remanded in custody. Mr McCaugherty appeared at a special sitting of Craigavon Magistrates Court on Saturday. He was accused of being second-in-command of the dissident republican Real IRA between 1 December 2005 and 19 June 2006.

Mr McCaugherty faced another charge of conspiracy to possess firearms between those dates with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property. These were identified as AK47 assault rifles, sniper rifles, heavy machine guns, pistols, pistol silencers and assorted ammunition. He was also charged with conspiracy to possess explosives with intent to endanger life or damage property between 24 May 2005 and 19 June 2006.

Commercial property

The explosives were SAM7 surface-to-air missiles, 100kg of plastic explosives namely semtex and C4, vehicle booby trap devices, disposable rocket propelled grenades, grenade launches, detonators, detonator cords and anti-tank armour piercing weapons.

He was accused of receiving 46,000 euro and the deeds of a commercial property in Portugal between 24 May 2005 and 13 June 2006, intending that it should be used or having reasonable cause to suspect that the money and property would be used for the purposes of terrorism.

The final charge he faced was arranging for the money and property to be made available between 24 May 2005 and 13 June 2006 to another person who knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that such assets would be used or could be used for the purposes of terrorism. (Note: Alvor, Portugal)

A detective chief inspector told the court he believed he could link the accused to the charges.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear by video link at Craigavon Magistrates Court on 20 July. He is the fourth person to be charged in connection with a major security operation in Counties Armagh and Fermanagh on Monday.

Another man arrested on Friday was released without charge.


Man due in court on terrorist charges
24 June 2006
Press Association
Sarah Stack

A man charged with terrorist offences is due to appear in court in Northern Ireland today.  The accused was among 10 people arrested following police searches across Northern Ireland and France on Monday. More than 200 officers were involved in the major operation.  He is to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court.

A husband and wife were among three others who appeared in court yesterday accused of an alleged international weapons plot by dissident republican terrorists.  It was claimed the conspiracy involved machine guns, explosives, and anti-tank weapons.  Desmond Kearns, 41, of Tannaghmore Green, Lurgan, County Armagh, his wife Alison Kearns, 37, of the same address, and co-defendant, 37-year-old Michael Dermot Gregory of Concession Road, Crossmaglen, South Armagh, were all remanded in custody to appear again by video link on July 28.

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