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Judge threatens to fix date for explosives hearing if PPS cannot

Kieran McCool (54) of Ballymagowan Gardens in Derry faces two sets of charges
Kieran McCool (54) of Ballymagowan Gardens in Derry faces two sets of charges

A JUDGE has warned that if the Public Prosecution Service does not provide "a reasonable date" for a preliminary enquiry for a man charged with explosive offences he will fix one himself.

Kieran McCool (54) of Ballymagowan Gardens in Derry faces two sets of charges. He is charged with possessing articles for use in terrorism on dates between December 31 2016 and April 25 2021.

He is also charged with possessing explosives with intent to endanger life on dates between December 31 2016 and December 14 2017 and making preparations for terrorist acts between December 31 2016 and December 4 2020.

McCool is also charged with three counts of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life on dates between December 21 2015 and April 20 2021, possessing an article for use in terrorism and preparing terrorist acts.

A prosecutor told Derry magistrates court that several issues were outstanding and papers were not completed. He told the court that there was "no further progress".

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said that it was fast approaching the second anniversary of the first appearance.

He asked District Judge Barney McElholm to issue a `McAleenan warning' which would compel the prosecution to fix a date for the preliminary enquiry.

Judge McElholm said that he was not going to issue the warning at this stage but if in four weeks time, if there was not a "fair and reasonable PE date" the court would fix a date and he would issue the warning.

The case was adjourned until February 8. McCool is currently on bail.