Sent for trial on charge connected to school alert

PACEMAKER BELFAST   
James Seamus McGuigan at Craigavon Court, He is  charged with possessing a mobile phone and SIM card "in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion their possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism" on dates between October 8 and October 18, 2013. 
  Photo Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST James Seamus McGuigan at Craigavon Court, He is charged with possessing a mobile phone and SIM card "in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion their possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism" on dates between October 8 and October 18, 2013. Photo Pacemaker Press

A Lurgan man has been sent for trial charged with having a mobile phone for a purpose connected with an act of terrorism.

James Seamus McGuigan (45) North Street, Lurgan, appeared at a preliminary enquiry on Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

The charge against him alleges that between October 8, 2013, and October 18, 2013, he possessed articles, namely a mobile phone handset and a SIM card, in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion their possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

McGuigan was remanded on his own bail of £700, with two sureties of £2,500 and £2,000 to appear for arraignment at Laganside court on a date to be fixed.

Conditions of the bail include a curfew from 8.30pm until 7am, he signs three times a week at Lurgan police station, he is tagged, he is not allowed to leave Northern Ireland, he must surrender his passport and is not to be in possession of a mobile phone.

The charges arise after a viable explosive device was uncovered in Sloan Street in Lurgan in October 2013 and previous courts have heard dissident republican terrorists tried four times to remotely detonate a no-warning bomb beside a special needs school.

Describing McGuigan as a “dissident republican,” a detective constable outlined how a mobile phone was strapped to the bomb so that it could be detonated remotely, claiming that police investigations indicated that terrorists had tried to detonate the bomb before calling Craigavon Area Hospital to issue a bomb warning, claiming to be from the Real IRA.

That call resulted in the school, another nearby primary school and several homes being evacuated, said the police officer adding that when the device was examined by ATO, it was described as a “viable explosive device.”