Tyrone brothers plead guilty to charges related to terrorist training camp

Court proceedings
Court proceedings

Two brothers from Co Tyrone today (wed) pleaded guilty to a number of terrorist charges relating to the discovery of a makeshift training camp and firing range on the outskirts of Omagh.

Terrence Aiden Coney (35) from Malabhui Road in Carrickmore and his 36-year-old brother Gavin Joseph Coney from Gorticashel Road in Omagh, were rearraigned at Belfast Crown Court, on the charges which can be linked to the dissident camp uncovered in Fourmil Wood in March 2012.

A prosecution lawyer said that the Crown were willing to accept the brother’s guilty pleas to the charges, while also asking a series of other offences be allowed to ‘remain on the books’.

Last week a Co Antrim man, Sean Kelly (48) from Duneane Crescent, in Toombridge, also pleaded guilty to charges linked to the terrorist camp.

Their guilty pleas leaves a fourth accused, 38-year-old Sharon Rafferty from Pomeroy, who is due to stand trial before the non-jury Diplock court later this week.

Belfast Recorder, Judge David McFarland, who released the Coney brothers on continuing bail, said he would pass sentence in the case, “when the question of Mrs Rafferty’s innocence or guilt is determined”.

Although no details were revealled at today’s hearing, it is the prosecution case is that the terrorist training camp at Greencastle was in an advanced state of preporation for an attack by dissident republicans.

The brothers both pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and ammunition, namely a .22 Walther rifle and .22 ammo, in suspicious circumstances on March 30 2012. The pair also admitted attending a place used for terrorist training on the same date, namely Fourmil Wood on the Gorticashel Road near Omagh.

Gavin Coney also admitted an additional charge of possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances, namely a .22 calbre sound moderator, often reffered to as a ‘silencer’.

The brothers also admitted possesing articles for use in terrorism. In Aiden Coney’s case, that was four pairs of training shoes, while in Gavin’s, they related to four pairs of water-proof jackets and trousers, four balaclavas, four pairs of training shoes and two pairs of gloves.

In addition they also admitted a seperate charge of helping others in the preporation and setting up the improvised firing range.