Seven men appear in court charged with dissident terrorism offences

newrySeven men - four from the Republic - have appeared in court in the North charged with a series of dissident terrorism offences.

The men - aged between 30 and 75 - appeared before Newry Magistrates Court in Co Down after being arrested last week by police investigating the Continuity IRA.

There was a significant police presence in court as the men were charged with the membership of a proscribed organisation.

A detective told the short hearing that MI5 had used a listening device to record conversations over a period of months during which the men discussed weapons training and funding for terrorist activities.

It was claimed that they also talked about attacks on individual police officers and members of the judiciary.

Five of the men are charged with directing terrorism.

The five men facing a count of directing terrorism along with the four other charges are 59-year-old Patrick Joseph Blair, from Villas Park, Dundalk; 44-year-old Liam James Hannaway, from White Rise, Dunmurry, County Antrim; 73-year-old Joseph Matthew Lynch, from Beechgrove Avenue, Limerick; 75-year-old Sean O'Neill, from Quinn's Cottages, Limerick; and 43-year-old Colin Patrick Winters, from Ardcarn Park, Newry.

The man facing four charges is 30-year-old John Sheehy, from Clounmacon, Listowel, County Kerry.

58-year-old Seamus Morgan, from Barcroft Park, Newry, faces the solitary charge of membership of a proscribed organisation.