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Pair on firearm and explosives charges

TWO alleged dissident republicans have appeared at the Special Criminal Court charged with possession of firearms and explosives and membership of the IRA.

Pierce Moran (59), with an address at Church Road, East Wall, and Stephen Hendrick (47), of Balbutcher Drive, Ballymun, are charged with a range of offences following garda raids over the weekend.

High explosives and a Kalash- nikov assault rifle were among the items allegedly found by detectives in raids on the homes of the two men.

Both suspects refused to stand, or to address the court. Mr Hendrick spoke only to confirm his name, but Mr Moran remained silent when asked to confirm his identity.

Before the hearing began, both men chatted and joked with each other.

The court heard that Mr Hendrick was on bail for other charges that were before the three-judge Special Criminal Court and that an appli- cation would be made for that bail to be revoked at a future sitting.

There was no application for bail yesterday.

Mr Hendrick was charged with membership of an organisation styling itself the IRA.

He was also charged with possession of a 7.62 x 39mm Kalashnikov-pattern assault rifle with the serial number 5228857 and one 33-round capacity 9mm parabellum calibre Glock magazine.

He was further charged with possession of a .40 calibre Glock model 22 slide and firing pin with the serial number DTY527 and 125 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition suitable for use in the Kalashnikov.

He was charged with possession of five 12-gauge shotgun cartridges from manufacturers Eley and a quantity of PETN high explosive in flexible tubing.

The court heard evidence from Det Gda Colm Finnerty that the firearms and explosives discovery was made at Mr Hendrick's address and he was arrested at 1.48pm on November 15.

Meanwhile, Mr Moran was charged with membership of an organisation styling itself the IRA and possession of an 8mm knall calibre valtro model AP29 army blank firing semi-automatic pistol.


He was also charged with possession of a 9mm short calibre Baikal model IZH79-8 semi-automatic pistol, a 9mm short calibre CZ model 83 semi- automatic pistol and a 9mm Makarov semi-automatic pistol.

The court heard that Mr Moran was also found to be in possession of a silencer suitable for the Makarov pistol and a 12-gauge Beretta model A300 semi-automatic shotgun.

Det Gda Brian Power said Mr Moran replied "no comment" when cautioned.

The case will resume next Wednesday, when the suspects will appear at a sitting via video link.