Northern Ireland

Terror charges against Kevin Barry Murphy dropped

Kevin Barry Murphy
Image caption Kevin Barry Murphy has had terrorism charges against him dropped

A man police claimed was a senior member of the Real IRA has had terrorism charges against him dropped.

Kevin Barry Murphy, 41, from Altmore Park in Coalisland had been charged in relation to a bomb-making factory discovered in South Armagh last year.

It was alleged his fingerprints were found on a coffee-grinder taken from the scene near Keady.

Detectives believe the grinder was linked to the bomb-making equipment which included the explosive Semtex.

On Tuesday, at Armagh magisrate's court, the charges against Mr Murphy and four co-accused were withdrawn by the Public Prosecution Service.

There was a heavy police presence during the short hearing. Several dozen of the men's supporters were in court.

In a court hearing last year police described Mr Murphy as the leader of the Real IRA in east Tyrone and part of the organisation's army council.