Fermanagh weapons find: Explosives destined for new IRA

Barry Petticrew originally from Ardoyne but with an address in, Co Cavan was sentenced to a total of 14 years after admitting possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition 

BOMB making equipment discovered in rural Co Fermanagh was destined for the group calling itself the new IRA.

Sources have revealed that despite denials of paramilitary membership by mechanic Barry Petticrew, he is closely linked to the dissident terror group.

The 45 year-old was caught 'red handed' after an undercover police operation filmed him moving equipment from a van parked at the farm near Kinawley, Co Fermanagh in October 2014.

The weapons haul included 500 kg of high grade nitro based fertiliser used in home-made explosives and other bomb making equipment.

The explosives amounted to twice the amount used in the 1998 Omagh bomb.

He was jailed on Tuesday for 11 years at Antrim Crown Court after admitting possessing explosives with the intent to endanger life; possessing articles that would be of use to terrorist; and possession of ammunition.

Petticrew, originally from the Ardoyne area Belfast, fled the city several years ago after a pipe bomb was thrown at the house where he was living.

At the time of his arrest he was living in Swanlinbar, near the site of the bomb factory, but his address was given as Maghaberry Prison.

In 2008 he was convicted of firearms offences in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin after being stopped in Dundalk with a Browning 9mm handgun and ammunition.

Despite denying he has any paramilitary links and that he was pressurised into his actions, a previous court heard Petticrew also formed part of a guard of honour at the 2013 republican funeral of Seamus McKenna - a man suspected of involvement in the Omagh bomb.

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