A 44-year-old man has appeared in court on charges connected with an explosive device found at the rear of Ceara School in 2013.
James Seamus McGuigan, North Street, Lurgan, was charged with possession of articles, a mobile phone and sim card, in connection with acts of terrorism and preparation of terrorist acts on October 9, 2013.
His solicitor made an application for bail but this was opposed by police.
A detective, outlining the background to the case, said on October 17, 2013, a call, claimed to be from the Real IRA, said there was an explosive device at Ceara School. It was received at Craigavon hospital.
The device was discovered behind a wall which backed on to the residential area of Sloan Street.
The area was not cleared until the next day, Friday, which resulted in the closure of the Ceara and Carrick schools while residents were moved from their homes.
The officer said it was a viable explosive device.
He told the court a mobile phone had been fitted to the device and it should have been detonated by another phone.
On October 17 four calls were made to detonate the device but they failed. There was a two and three quarter hour wait for the call to the hospital and police attending to the device.
“This was highly reckless,” said the officer.
After further inquiries they searched the suspect’s address and phone analysis showed that the sim card from the offending phone had been in the defendant’s phone.
The phone call to the hospital had been made from a phone box at the Seagoe Industrial Estate and McGuigan’s fingerprints were recovered from the phone box.
The officer strongly objected to bail saying the defendant was believed to be a ‘Dissident Republican’ and that there was a risk to public safety, a risk of flight and the likelihood of committing further offences.
Mr Peter Corrigan, solicitor for McGuigan, said his client, if released on bail, could be subject to stringent conditions such as a curfew, tagging, not to be in possession of a mobile phone and surrendering his passport.
He claimed that McGuigan would say that at the time he owned between 18 and 20 mobile phones. He would have difficulty remembering details from two years ago.
Mr Corrigan added that it had been alleged by the prosecution that his client was a ‘Dissident Republican’ but there was charge in relation to that.
He said McGuigan was from a large family in the Lurgan area, had two grown up children and strong links to the Lurgan area and had no resources if he wanted to abscond.
The police officer reinforced the view that police had ‘strenuous objections’ to his release on bail.
Deputy District Judge, Mr Sean O’Hare, refused bail and told McGuigan he had the right to apply to the High Court.