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Kerry RSF head faces terrorism plot charges

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The Kerry chairman of Republican Sinn Fein has been arrested and is facing terrorism charges in Northern Ireland.

John Sheehy (30), of Clounmacon, Listowel, appeared before Newry Magistrates Court on Monday charged with a number of terrorism offences.

He is charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, conspiracy to possess explosives with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and preparation of terrorist acts.

Mr Sheehy was one of 12 men arrested at a house in Newry on November 10 as part of a crackdown on dissident republican activity by the PSNI and British security service MI5. Seven of the men appeared in court this week.

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The court heard that in a covert operation MI5 recorded the men discussing plots against specific judges and police officers.

In 70 hours of recordings, made over a three month period, the accused men also allegedly discussed weapon training and how to fund terrorist activity.

As the seven watched from the dock, a prosecution lawyer asked the detective in charge of the investigation to confirm details of the operation.

"MI5 arranged for a device or number of devices to be placed within an address at Ardcarn Park, Newry," he said.

"A number of meetings were recorded at which the defendants were present."

John Sheehy is listed as the chairman of the Kerry Branch of Continuity Sinn Fein, the organisation which was known as Republican Sinn Fein until it re-branded in early November.

Last week a message from Continuity Sinn Fein, issued in the name of a John T Sheehy, was sent to The Kerryman warning that the organisation would do 'all in its power' to rid Kerry of drug dealers.

Mr Sheehy, who has not yet entered a plea to the charges, was remanded in custody until mid December.


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