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Trial starts of young south Armagh couple accused of terrorised related offences

The trial has started of a young south Armagh couple accused of terrorist-related offences, which includes allegedly possessing and making explosives.

The accused are 21-year-old Keith McCannon and Orla O’Hanlon, aged 20, both of Forkhill.

Belfast High Court

Police arrested the couple at a house in the south Armagh village during a search conducted two years ago under the Justice and Security Act.

They appeared today (Monday) for the start of a non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court.

The charges – which both accused deny – are linked to the alleged discovery of an industrial grinder, a TPU (timer power unit) and a quantity of fertiliser.

All of these, the Crown states, have been used in improvised explosive substances in the past in Northern Ireland.

Mr Terence Mooney QC, prosecuting, said the evidence which would be presented to the court would show the grinder had been used at the house to grind ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

He told the court the timer power unit – which had consisted of an improvised switch unit, operated by mobile phone, together with portable power supply – had been found in a wardrobe in the bedroom of the couple’s home.

The prosecutor said the presence of these items and explosives in the property had indicated the accused were allegedly engaged in acts involved with the preparation of explosives and with making a bomb.

The trial is continuing.

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