Former Irish soldier to be tried on Fermanagh gun charges

A former Irish soldier and his co-accused, due to stand trial accused of being dissident republican gunmen, claim an alleged murder bid on a trainee police officer was a prank.

The 28-year-old ex soldier, Gerard James McManus, from Fernhill in Letterkenny and 35-year-old Kevin Barry Nolan, from Main Street in Blacklion, deny attempted murder.

The men were returned for trial to Belfast Crown Court.

The men were detained by undercover police, during a shooting incident in the border town of Garrison in Co Fermanagh on November 21 2009.

Both are also charged with possession of a gun with intent to endanger life, while McManus of Letterkenny also faces a further charge of using a gun to resist arrest.

But the pair say they only meant to scare the young policeman and that they were put up to "the prank" by a police agent.

Having heard legal arguement the judge remanded both men back into custody after granting them each legal aid certificates for two counsel