Derry rocket contained Semtex explosive

Published Monday, 10 December 2012
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A court where three men have appeared in connection with the discovery of an armour-piercing rocket in Londonderry has heard that the device contained Semtex explosive.

Derry rocket contained Semtex explosive
Neil Hegarty appears in court in Londonderry. (© Pacemaker)

The accused arrived at Bishop Street courthouse in Derry on Monday, to cheers from waiting supporters and amid a heavy security presence.

Damien Harkin, 47 and from Westland Avenue; Jason Lee Ceulman, 42 and from Lecky Road; and 47-year-old Neil Christopher Hegarty, from Sackville Street, are all suspected members of the 'New IRA'.

They are charged with possession of an EFP - and explosively formed projectile - and with conspiracy to murder and possession of walkie-talkies for use in an act of terrorism.

The three men were arrested in a Renault Mégane, which was stopped by police in the Creggan area of the city on Thursday night.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found a holdall containing an armour-piercing rocket.

Appearing in the dock, all three men refused to recognise the court.

But a detective constable said that she could connect all three accused with the charges and added that police believed they had "foiled a deadly attack".

The court heard that the device had contained 200g of Semtex plastic explosive and, if it had been deployed, it would have caused extensive damage, loss of life, or serious injury.

The detective constable further told the court that police believed all three accused were members of a group styled as the 'New IRA', which posed a "significant threat" to police and prison officers.

During police questioning, none of the men had admitted membership of the group or made any further admissions.

Their bail applications were adjourned amid legal arguments over the admissibility of intelligence evidence and will now be heard on Thursday.

Jason Ceulman and Damien Harkin appear in court in Londonderry.

© UTV News
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4 Comments
Lee in Belfast wrote (679 days ago):
peace-loviong nationalists strike again , with IRA semtex it seems . decommisioning their weapons eh? must have missed a bit... or probaly 20 tons of the stuff..ready to use when they dont get their way...not that that ever happens.
Robert in Portstewart wrote (679 days ago):
Surprise surprise, semtex
charles in lisbellaw wrote (679 days ago):
Semtex, Aye right !!, Sure all of us numties were told by the most learned of the creme de la creme of the highest echelons of our society, that the IRA had DECOMMISSIONED THEIR SEMTEX !!. Those who were sceptical were held up to ridicule by the PRESS including UTV. What have you to say for yourself now UTV ???.
Jonny in Londonderry wrote (679 days ago):
wonder where the semtex came from .. answers on a postcard
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