Northern Ireland news

Omagh suspect alleged to have supplied Forkhill explosives

Keith McConnan, who is on trial on explosives charges

A MAN suspected of involvement in the Omagh bomb is alleged to have supplied explosives found in a young couple's south Armagh home, a court has heard.

The claim was made during the trial of Keith McConnan (21) and Orla O'Hanlon (20) who were arrested in December 2013 after their Forkhill home was searched by police.

They have been charged with a range of terrorist offences including making and possessing explosives.

It follows the discovery in their rented bungalow of an industrial grinder, a "complete" timer power unit and crushed ammonium nitrate fertiliser - which the Crown say has been "encountered in improvised explosive substances" in the past.

McConnan (21), from Tievecom Road in Forkhill, and O'Hanlon, from Church Road in the village, both deny the charges at their non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court.

During defence cross-examination yesterday, a PSNI detective constable confirmed that a man named only as 'Mr X' had been arrested and questioned over the 1998 Omagh bomb atrocity.

Asked by Barry Macdonald, acting for McConnan, if he was aware that 'Mr X' had supplied ammonium nitrate which was found in the house, the officer said he wasn't.

Under further questioning, the detective said during his research into "Mr X' he discovered that he had been one of 50 people arrested as part of the Omagh investigation.

He also told the court that he had been arrested by Garda detectives in connection with the find at the Forkhill house of McConnan and O'Hanlon, but was not charged in connection with it.

At hearing.

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