DISSIDENT REPUBLICAN SUSPECT TO FACE COURT OVER MURDER BID ON POLICE OFFICER IN DERRY
A 36-year-old man will face a court today on a murder bid charge after a bomb was left under a police officer’s car at Eglinton in Co Derry over two years ago.
Sean McVeigh, who is unemployed and from Victoria Street in Lurgan, is due before Belfast Crown Court this morning to be formally arraigned on two charges.
He will be asked by the court clerk to enter either a plea of guilty or not guilty to a charge of attempted murder and a second charge of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life, namely an under vehicle improvised explosive device.
The charges relate to an incident on June 15, 2015 when the police officer wife of a PSNI officer disturbed a man trying to place the under car booby trap bomb under his vehicle was parked in the driveway of the family home.
She banged on the bedroom window as the men was putting the device underneath the driver’s car door.
McVeigh was arrested in Portadown by detectives from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit in May 2016.
At his first appearance, his defence claimed there was no forensic or CCTV evidence linking him to the bomb bid in Eglinton.
McVeigh was remanded in custody to Maghaberry Prison.
Within hours of the murder bid, McVeigh was one of three men detained by Gardai in Co Donegal.
McVeigh and his two associates, who were also known to be dissident republican suspects, were arrested along the border near Ballybofey.
They were taken for questioning to both Letterkenny and Milford Garda stations.
The suspects were held under the Offences Against the State Act.
All three were later released pending a report to the Republic’s Director of Public Prosecutions.
During a bail hearing in November 2016, prosecutors told the court that McVeigh was said to have remained in the Irish Republic until detained by the PSNI at Portadown train station in May last year.
Tests revealed a low amount of explosive component on the clothing that had been seized from him in Donegal, it was alleged.
The prosecution contended there is material pointing to him being the person who actually placed the device.
Prosecutors objected to his compassionate bail release to attend his baby son’s christening after concerns were also raised for the safety of an associate of McVeigh’s who was prepared to put up a £5,000 cash surety and accompany him to the event.
Prosecution counsel disclosed that the defendant received threats in two letters containing .22 bullets sent back in March 2015.
Referring to the second message, the barrister said: “The wording stated: Sean McVeigh, you’re a dead man walking. Shoot on sight.”