Three men appear in court in Derry on terrorism charges

Three men have appeared in court accused of possessing a rocket in the Creggan area of Derry last week.
42-year-old Jason Lee Ceulemans, of Lecky Road, 47-year-old Neil Christopher Hegarty, of Sackville Court and 47-year-old Damien Harkin, of Westland Avenue, are jointly charged with possessing explosives with intent to endanger life and possessing a walkie talkie for use in terrorism on December 6.
The three defendants are further charged with conspiracy to murder unknown persons between November 22 and December 7.
All three men refused to recognise the court and stayed silent when asked if they understood the charges.
An investigating officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court that police believed the explosively formed projectile was for activity on behalf of the ‘new IRA’.
She said the device found in the car was viable and contained 200g of semtex.
She added it could have caused “extensive damage, loss of life or serious injury”.
Bail was strongly opposed by police who said they believed that all three defendants were “active members of the new IRA”.
A bail application was adjourned after the investigating officer confirmed that the allegation the device was linked to the new IRA is based on intelligence.
Defence solicitors for the men Paddy MacDermott and Ciaran Shiels applied for the bail application to be adjourned for the intelligence to be served on them.
Ceulemans, Hegarty and Harkin were remanded in custody to appear in court again, via videolink, on Thursday.
As they were led from the dock people in the packed public galleries stood and clapped and cheered.


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