Northern Ireland

Damien McLaughlin jailed over dissident weapons haul

A man has been jailed for four and a half years after admitting having a dissident republican arms cache.

Damien McLaughlin, 34, from Lake View Cottages in Dungannon, pleaded guilty to possessing two rifles, a sawn-off shotgun and over 100 bullets.

He also admitted having two silencers, a magazine and two telescopic sights for a terrorist purpose.

The weaponry was found in a rucksack liner in the boot of McLaughlin's car which was parked outside his house.

A search of his home also uncovered camoflage clothing and a T-Shirt bearing the logo 'OGH'.

In a separate dissident arms case also heard in Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, 66-year-old Patrick McDaid was jailed for three years.

McDaid, of Meadowbrook in Craigavon, admitted possessing a World War II Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, two live rounds of ammunition and 10 blank rounds with intent to endanger life on 29 January 2009.

The pensioner was caught with the pistol and ammunition in his cycle saddle on the oustskirts of Newry.

Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess said the men, who both had completely clear criminal records, had "provided a protective shield... for these murderous terrorists".