Northern Ireland

Three remanded in custody over Cookstown gun find

Three men have been remanded in custody charged with possession of a gun and ammunition recovered from a car in County Tyrone on Monday night.

Mark McGuigan, 26, of Sperrin View in Omagh and Martin McClune, 22, of Abercorn Road in Londonderry were in the car stopped near Cookstown.

Darryn Patrick McCallion, 22, of Rathlin Drive in Derry was also arrested during the operation.

A detective told the court he believed the trio were Real IRA members.

Strabane Magistrates Court heard that a green holdall bag containing a revolver loaded with six live bullets was found when the Ford Fiesta was stopped on the Gorticashel Road.

More ammunition was found rolled up in a sock.

A detective said that Mr McGuigan was the driver of the car and that a change of clothes was found in the front.

Police opposed bail applications made by Mr McGuigan and Mr McClune on the grounds that they feared the defendants might flee Northern Ireland.

Defence solicitor Fergal Logan asked whether the gun was a a viable weapon and said his client, Mr McGuigan, had no knowledge of the firearm.

He added that during police interviews, all three had consistently denied being a member of any illegal organisation.

Rejecting the bail applications, the district judge said the discovery of the loaded weapon and ammunition was a "serious issue in this day and age when there are attacks being carried out."

He added that the application was "premature" until the forensic tests had been completed.