Four jailed over dissident republicanism

Published Monday, 13 January 2014
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Four men caught in a car with a gun and ammunition following a police surveillance operation into dissident republican activity have been sentenced to a total of 36 years.

Four jailed over dissident republicanism
The gun, pictured, was seized after a car was searched near Omagh in 2010. (© PSNI)

Disc jockey Darryn Patrick McCallion, 25 and of Rathlin Drive, Derry; Martin McLoone, 25 and of Abercorn Road Derry; and Daniel John Turnbull, 33, of Strule Park, Omagh, Co Tyrone had earlier pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to possession of a firearm with intent on 11 October, 2010.

Turnbull also pleaded guilty to a further count on the same date of possessing a Sterling sub- machine gun and ammunition with intent along with articles likely to be used in terrorism.

Mark McGuigan, 29 and of Sperrin View, Omagh, was found guilty at his trial last November of possessing a firearm with intent.

The four were caught in a Ford Fiesta car on 11 October, 2010 on the Gorticashel Road outside Omagh, Co Tyrone.

In a green Celtic holdall, police found a reactivated .38 Webley revolver hidden in a sock.

Belfast Crown Court had earlier heard that inside a second sock was a quantity of ammunition, including 13 rounds of .22 rim fire rifle cartridges and 20 rounds of 9 x 19mm calibre cartridges.

Judge Corinne Philpott QC sentenced McGuigan to 12 years, with six years in custody and a further six on licence.

The judge said: "McGuigan still denies responsibility for his actions. He has shown no remorse and does not regret his involvement.

"There is no information before this court that he has or wants to distance himself from these type of offences."

The court heard that Turnbull had now "seen the error of his ways" and was no longer part of the dissident republican wings in Maghaberry prison.

Judge Philpott sentenced Turnbull to nine years, with four and a half years in custody and the remainder on licence.

The court had heard that the day after their arrests on 12 October, police carried out a search at 5 Mill Cottages in Greencastle, Co Tyrone and found a three-door Renault Clio car belonging to Darren Turnbull parked outside.

Inside the car, officers found a submachine gun and magazine along with 42 .22 calibre cartridges.

The search of the car also uncovered three sets of ballistic body armour, latex gloves, ear defenders and combat clothing.

McLoone, whose DNA was found on a Celtic bag, was sentenced to eight years, with an equal 50/50 split between custody and licence.

Before sentencing him, the judge had been told that McLoone had applied to join the dissident republican wings in the jail.

McCallion, who the court heard has distanced himself from dissidents in the jail, was sentenced to seven years, with three-and-a-half years in custody and the remainder on licence on his release.

Police believe the seized items were intended to be used in a dissident republican attack.

A spokesman for the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch said: "The recovery of these weapons has undoubtedly saved lives. Police will continue to combat the threat posed by dissident republican individuals and groups who plan to use violence to further their agendas.

"We would encourage people in the community to continue to work with us to reduce the threat posed by such reckless individuals so that we can bring them before the courts."

© UTV News
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3 Comments
jim in s'land wrote (319 days ago):
By the Looks of that photo, they were probably on their way to the 'Antiques Roadshow'
David in Belfast wrote (319 days ago):
Its good to see some of these IRA scum being locked up. Its a drop in the ocean to the number of murderers and terrorists still out there but at least its a start. Keep up the good work PSNI.
007 in belfast wrote (319 days ago):
they should serve there full sentences scumbags ! how many of the loyalist protesters who got jail are being afforded half sentences with such leniency ?
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