Northern Ireland

Legal bid to dismiss terror charges against County Armagh couple is unsuccessful

Orla O'Hanlon from Church Road, Forkhill, has denied the charges Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Orla O'Hanlon from Church Road, Forkhill, has denied the charges

Applications to dismiss terrorist charges against a County Armagh couple accused of making a bomb in their bungalow have been unsuccessful, a court has heard.

Legal teams acting on behalf of Keith McConnan and Orla O'Hanlon made applications that their clients had "no case to answer" on various terrorist charges.

The applications were made last month.

The pair deny all the charges against them.

It is the Crown case that the young couple were guilty of committing acts for the preparation of manufacturing explosives and making a bomb after an explosive substance, an industrial grinder and other items including a primed timer power unit were allegedly discovered in their rented bungalow in Forkhill.

The search was conducted in December 2013 under the Justice and Security Act.

Following the Crown's case, and before the defence opened their case, a barrister acting on behalf of Mr McConnan, 21, from Tievecrom Road in Forkhill, argued that his client had no case to answer on four of the nine charges he faces.

Ruling

His legal team argued that Mr McConnan, who is originally from Dundalk, had no case to answer on charges linked to the crushed ammonium nitrate based fertiliser that was found at various locations within the bungalow.

The charges include both making and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life as well as making explosives under suspicious circumstances.

An application was also made on behalf of Ms O'Hanlon, 20, from Church Road in Forkhill, on the grounds that following the Crown's case, she had no case to answer on each of ten offences she was charged with.

These charges include possessing and making explosives with intent to endanger life as well as possessing articles for use in terrorism.

The judge was asked to consider the defence applications, and on Monday gave her ruling.

The judge said that after considering both the defence submissions and the evidence before the court, she was "satisfied that each of the defendants has a case to answer" in respect of all the offences they are being tried on.

The trial will resume again on Monday 1 February.

Ms O'Hanlon was released on continuing bail and Mr McConnan was remanded back into custody.

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