West Belfast man in court over weapons haul

A 68-year-old west Belfast man has been remanded in custody charged with four terrorist offences.

Thomas Maguire, from Suffolk Drive, was arrested on Tuesday after bullets, four handguns, a coffee jar grenade and components for three others were found.

Mr Maguire is charged with having firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

A police officer said he had also been charged over the seizure of a "firearms factory" in Newry in September 2010.

The officer told Belfast Magistrates Court a fingerprint on a pistol linked the accused to that find.

Police said the weapons seized on Tuesday were found in Mr Maguire's car.

The searches were part of an investigation into dissident republican activity.

Mr Maguire is also charged with possession of items with a terrorist purpose and offences under the explosive substances act.

In response to an application for bail from the accused, police told the court that Mr Maguire had 12 previous convictions dating back to the 1970s, 10 of those related to explosives.

A defence barrister argued that Mr Maguire should be bailed due to a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease.

He was denied bail and remanded in custody. The district judge said there was a strong risk Mr Maguire would re-offend.

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