Rocket case trio refused bail

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Three men accused of possessing a rocket in Creggan have been refused bail.

It was revealed to Derry Magistrate’s Court today that the explosively formed projectile was allegedly in a “state of readiness”.

Damien Harkin, 47, of Westland Avenue, Neil Christopher Hegarty, 47, of Sackville Court and 42-year-old Jason Lee Ceulemans, of Lecky Road, are accused of possessing the explosive device on December 6.

They are further charged with conspiracy to murder and possession of a walkie talkie for use in terrorism.

All three men deny the charges against them.

A bail application on behalf of the men was adjourned on Monday because the defence wanted intelligence served on them.

However, as the trio appeared in court via videolink it was revealed the police were no longer relying on intelligence to object to bail.

It was objected to on the grounds the men may re-offend or not turn up for trial.

Refusing bail, District Judge Greg McCourt said given the police detection of these men and “the situation in this country where bombings and shootings are carried out by certain people it is in the public interest these men are remanded in custody”.

The trio will appear in court again via videolink next month.

(For more see tomorrow’s Derry Journal).