Friday 15 December 2017

Four charged after alleged threat to kill businessman

Castlerea Prison
Castlerea Prison

Harry Keaney

Four alleged members of the INLA were brought before a special sitting of Sligo District Court last night on charges arising from an alleged threat to kill a Co Leitrim businessman.

All four, who are from Derry, were remanded in custody in Castlerea Prison until tomorrow when they will again be brought before the district court for a decision on bail applications.

Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit were present outside the courthouse.

The four, Martin Barr (42), Brian Cornwell (39), Neil McMonagle (28), and Blaine Dobbins (34), were each charged that on September 28 at Drumcoura, Ballinamore, they trespassed on property in such a manner as to cause fear in the owner of the property.

Solicitor Martin Burke sought bail for Mr Barr.

However, Superintendent Kevin English told Judge Kevin Kilrane that Mr Barr had given an address in Derry and he believed the defendant to be a flight risk.

Supt English said it was alleged Mr Barr was a member of the INLA and he believed Mr Barr's affiliation with that organisation would help him avoid prosecution.

He said it was alleged that Mr Barr, with three others, made a threat to kill a businessman in Drumcoura. He was arrested with three other men and it is believed they were trying to flee over the border to Northern Ireland.

Supt English said Mr Barr confronted Ron Wise, the owner of Drumcoura City, a resort and equestrian centre in Ballinamore, by saying they were from the INLA and threatened him over High Court proceedings involving disputed land.

It was also alleged they were trying to extort cash from this man in Galway.

The superintendent said the land was currently in the ownership of Drumcoura City as security for a loan and was lawfully passed to the alleged injured party.

Supt English said more serious charges may follow.

Mr Barr's solicitor, Martin Burke, said his client was in an identity parade and was not identified by the alleged injured party. He added he would dispute the contention his client was a flight risk.

Supt English also objected to bail for the three other defendants.

The court heard that Mr McMonagle and Mr Dobbins were also arrested at Clooneen, Manorhamilton. Both had nothing to say when charged.

Supt English objected to bail for Mr Cornwell saying he had no connection to the area.

Irish Independent

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