Depressingly familiar scenes both outside and inside Bishop Street courthouse in Londonderry on Monday as three men, including a brother-in-law of SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey, appeared on terrorism charges after their arrest on Thursday last week.
From the UTV report
Appearing in the dock, all three men refused to recognise the court.
And from the Irish Times report
Dozens of relatives and friends of the co-defendants crowded into the Bishop Street courthouse for the hearing.
More than a dozen police officers were also inside the courtroom.
The police witness told District Judge Alan White that she believed she could connect the co-defendants to the charges. She said they were arrested after a car they were travelling in was stopped by police at Westway in the Creggan Estate shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday last.
She said the explosive was found in a holdall in the footwell of the rear passenger seat. The device was subsequently examined by a British army technical officer.
“The device, which is made of metal, is capable of causing extensive damage and loss of life”, she said.
The police witness said she believed “the activity” was carried out “by the new IRA” and that none of the defendants had given accounts of their movements nor had they denied the charges.
The officer said her opposition to the defendants being released on bail “is based on police intelligence information”.
When solicitors for the defendants submitted that the information should disclosed to the defence, the judge adjourned their bail applications until Thursday for a video link hearing.
After the co-defendants were remanded in continuing custody until Thursday, their relatives and supporters clapped and cheered when they were taken into custody.
Weapons and an explosive device have also been reportedly seized during police searches in Lurgan, County Armagh.
Update All three men have been refused bail and were remanded in custody until 10 January. From the BBC report
[A detective constable] said, during their interviews, the defendants made no reply, however Harkin – in a prepared written statement – said he was in the car with the intention of using the spirits to burn the car and the device at Groarty Road.
Applying for bail for the defendants Ceulmans and Hegarty, solicitor Paddy MacDermott, said it would take at least six months before forensic tests had been completed.
He said both men and their families were deeply rooted in the local community and it would be in their interests to turn up for their trial.
Barrister Andrew Moriarty, applying for bail for the defendant Harkin, said the father-of-four was a member of the government-funded social justice committee and was currently working on a cross-community project with teenagers from east Belfast.