Derry hotel bomb accused refused temporary bail to attend confirmation service

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A man charged in connection with an attempted bomb attack on the Waterfoot Hotel in October of last year has been denied temporary bail at Derry Magistrates Court.

Darren Poleon, from County Meath, is currently on remand at HMP Magheraberry. He stands accused of possession of explosives with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

The bail application was heard via video link to the prison.

Mr Poleon spoke only to confirm his date of birth. It emerged the defendant had made an application for temporary bail on compassionate grounds to attend a confirmation service at Kells, County Meath.

A Detective Constable for the PSNI strongly opposed the application because of a fear that the defendant may abscond.

Counsel for the defendant cited that Mr Poleon had offers from upstanding members of his own community, including a priest, that they would ensure that he would return to Magheraberry after the confirmation.

Defence counsel also said that the Poleon family intended to have a reception for the confirmation at a hotel in Newry, inside the Northern Ireland jurisdiction and also said there was an offer of €5,000 in surety.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that the request was ‘stretching’ what he understood to be the definition of compassionate parole. He said in previous times this was designed to let prisoners attend funerals or someone’s death bed.

In the end Mr McElholm refused the application on the grounds that the risk of Mr Poleon absconding, he felt, was too high.