Two men remanded over Londonderry hotel bomb attack attempt

The scene of the security alert at the Waterfoot Hotel
Image caption The Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry was targeted in October ahead of a police recruitment day

Two men have appeared in court charged in connection with an attempted bomb attack at a police recruitment event at the Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry.

Darren Poleon, 41, from Kells and Brian Walsh, 34, from Dunshaughlin, both in County Meath, were refused bail at Londonderry Magistrate's Court.

They are jointly charged that on 6 October they prepared an act of terrorism by placing an improvised explosive device.

The hotel later cancelled the event.

'Explosives'

They are also charged on the same date with possessing an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life or cause damage to property and with conspiring to cause an explosion with an improvised explosive device.

A detective constable in the PSNI's serious crime branch told the court that a sat nav recovered from the defendant Mr Poleon's Ford Focus car showed that the vehicle had been driven to Derry from County Meath on October 6.

He said there was CCTV footage of the car being parked just off the Foyle bridge dual carriageway immediately behind the Waterfoot Hotel.

The car was then driven to Eglinton before it returned to the hotel where police believe one person was collected and another dropped off.

The officer said the car containing the two defendants was stopped the following day by police in Omagh.

Inside the vehicle, officers found two pairs of latex gloves, a toy gun, bolt cutters, and a walkie-talkie.

Both defendants were arrested and later released on police bail on suspicion of going equipped to commit a burglary.

'Custody'

The detective constable said that on 9 October the police found an improvised explosive device beside the hotel containing 1.5 kilos of low explosives.

He said it was in a fire extinguisher and had been concealed in undergrowth bordering the hotel car park.

The detective said the defendant, Mr Poleon, had made a reservation to stay in the hotel overnight on 9 October.

He booked his reservation with a credit card, but he gave a false address and false phone number.

The officer said Mr Poleon failed to arrive at the hotel that day.

But he said police believe Poleon planned to go there, remove the IED from the undergrowth, and place it in the hotel where it was timed to explode during the PSNI recruitment event.

Bail was refused and both men were remanded in custody to appear again via video link on 31 December.

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