Northern Ireland news

Dublin man wanted for attempted murder of PSNI officer has bail forfeited after he 'went on the run'

Police at the scene of the incident in 2015. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

A MAN wanted over a suspected bid to kill a PSNI officer has had €30,000 of his bail forfeited by the High Court in Dublin following his arrest in Scotland last month while on the run.

Seán Paul Farrell (35), of Stannaway Road, in Kimmage, Dublin, is currently charged before Belfast Magistrates Court with attempting to murder an off-duty policeman with a bomb underneath a car in Eglington, Co Derry on June 18, 2015.

He is also charged with possessing explosives with intent to endanger life. He faces life imprisonment on both counts if found guilty.

Farrell was originally arrested in the Republic on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued in 2017. He had been fighting his proposed surrender to authorities in the north through the High Court in Dublin but failed to answer bail after his surrender was ordered in February.

The High Court heard that Farrell was arrested in Glasgow on foot of another warrant in May and was brought before Belfast Magistrates Court where he was remanded in custody.

Police said the improvised explosive device (IED) planted under the officer's car could have had "devastating" consequences.

The original warrant states that the officer's wife, also a serving PSNI Officer, awoke in the early hours of June 18 and looked out her bedroom window where she saw a man in the driveway on the ground at the driver's door of her husband's car.

The woman knocked on her bedroom window causing the man to flee and she called 999.

At the scene police confirmed the presence of a suspicious device underneath the car. It was on the ground unattached to the vehicle. An Ammunition Technical Officer subsequently confirmed it to be an improvised explosive device (IED), according to the warrant.

The High Court ordered Farrell's extradition in February but he subsequently absconded and the case came back before Mr Justice Donald Binchy yesterday to determine what should happen with the bail money.

The court heard Farrell's bail involved an independent surety of €30,000 that was posted by his mother.

The court heard that €25,000 had been placed into a bank account that is subject to a freezing order and recoverable by the State. A further €5,000 had yet to be paid over.

Mr Justice Binchy ordered that the €5,000 be paid within one year, with one month's imprisonment in default of payment.

Lawyers for Farrell's mother, who was legally represented for the brief hearing, will ask the court for the order in respect of the €5,000 to be set aside at a later date.

Farrell is due before Belfast Magistrates Court again this Friday, June 19.

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