Trio to stand trial on explosives charges

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Three men are to stand trial accused of possessing explosives.

Eamon Terrence Cassidy, (49), 47-year-old Daniel Martin Joseph Doyle and 55-year-old Eugene McLoone appeared in Derry Magistrates Court for a brief hearing yesterday.

There was a heavy police presence outside the court and the public gallery was packed with supporters of the three defendants.

Cassidy, whose address was given as C/O Maghaberry, Doyle, of Bluebellhill Gardens, and McLoone of Abercorn Road, are jointly charged with possessing an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life on September 26 last year.

They are also jointly charged with possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances.

Cassidy faces two similar charges alleged to have been committed between December 21, 2010 and September 26, last year.

Defence solicitors for the defendants accepted there was a case to answer and the trio declined to say anything in answer to the charges.

A prosecution barrister told the court a certificate for a non-jury trial was under consideration by the PPS.

Cassidy and Doyle were remanded in custody and McLoone was released on continuing bail. They will appear in court in Belfast at a later date.

As the defendants were led from the dock people in the public gallery got to their feet and cheered.