Two to stand trial over bomb discovery at Londonderry hotel

The Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry
The Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry

Two men from Co Meath are to stand trial next year on terrorist charges linked to the discovery of bomb at a Londonderry hotel which was due to host a PSNI recruitment event.

Darren Polean (42) from Lightown in Drumbaragh and 34-year old Brian Walsh from Culmullen in Drumree, appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Monday when they denied four charges levelled against them.

Both men were charged with four offences arising from the discovery of the device at the Waterfoot Hotel last October. The bomb was located shortly before a planned PSNI recruitment at the hotel, which was subsequently cancelled.

Polean and Walsh were both charged with possessing explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property on October 6, 2015, and of possessing explosives - namely an improvised explosive device - under suspicious circumstances.

The pair were also charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion, and of possessing articles for use in terrorism, on the same date. The articles in question include a Satellite Navigation System, bolt cutters, a balaclava, binoculars, assorted gloves, hand held two-way radios, disguises, a head torch and plastic adhesive tape.

When the four charges were put to each accused, both men responded by saying ‘not guilty.’

During today’s hearing, the court heard that the trial is due to be held next February and will last an anticipated two weeks.

Judge Geoffery Miller QC ordered that the case be reviewed at the start of December.

He then remanded Polean and Walsh back into custody.