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Dissident republicans caught with homemade mortar jailed for 10 years

The three men plead guilty to possession of the explosive device as well as terrorist offences.

Jason Ceulemans was driving the car when it was searched.
Jason Ceulemans was driving the car when it was searched.
Image: PSNI

THREE DISSIDENT REPUBLICANS have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the possession of explosives that were intended to be used in motor bomb attack.

Jason Ceulemans (41), Damien Harkin (48) and Neil Hegarty (49) were all dressed in dark clothing and travelling together in a car in the Creggan area of Derry in December when the car was stopped by police.

A holdall containing a homemade mortar was found inside the vehicle which police believed was intended to be used in a dissident republican attack.

In court last month all three men plead guilty to possession of the explosive device as well as having items for a purpose connected to terrorism.

 

Today there were each sentenced to 10 years on the first charge and four years on the second charge with the sentences to run concurrently.

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A PSNI spokesperson said the men’s arrest and subsequent prosecution has “undoubtedly saved lives”, adding that they “would encourage people in the community to continue to work with us to reduce the threat posed by such reckless individuals”.

Read: The ‘IRA’ claims responsibility for devices sent to British Army recruitment centres >

Read: Three charged with dissident republican activity to appear in court >

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Rónán Duffy

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