Derry man on mortar charges was asked to become a supergrass

A Derry man who is currently on remand in connection with the finding of mortars in the city on March 3 has been approached in Maghaberry Prison to turn supergrass.

At today's sitting of Derry Magistrate's Court, a solicitor for 37 year old Gary McDaid of 121, Glenowen Park said there had been a 'serious development' in the case.

Mr Ciaran Shields said that his client had been approached on six occasions in Maghaberry Prison in an attempt to persuade him to plead guilty and become an assisting offender.

He said that all these approaches had been done in the absence of a solicitor.

Mr. Shields said they had made representations on the matter to the Prison Service, the Chief Constable, the Secretary of State and the High Court.

Deputy District Judge John Meehan said that one possible remedy would be the granting of bail to McDaid.
He adjourned the case for one week so that the prosecution could show cause as to why bail should not be granted.

In a letter to Mr. Shields the NIO confirmed that McDaid had been visited in Maghaberry Prison by the PSNI.
A second man charged along with McDaid, 35 year old Seamus McLaughlin of 19c Eastway has not been approached according to his solicitor.

Both men are charged with conspiring to cause explosions and possessing improvised mortars on March 3.
The charges relate to the finding of four mortars in a van on the Letterkenny Road in Derry.