Docklands bomb suspect questioned

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The Independent Online
A man from South Armagh was yesterday flown to London from Northern Ireland for questioning by Metropolitan police detectives investigating last February's IRA bombing of London's docklands. Two people died in the attack, which caused widespread damage. The bombing signalled the end of the IRA's 17- month ceasefire.

The man, who has not been named, is from the border village of Cullyhanna and was taken to Paddington Green police station. He was one of a number held by police and troops following a large-scale security operation in the area last week.

In another sequel to last week's operation, three men appeared in a Co Down court charged with a series of terrorist offences. One of them, Martin McGinn, was charged with three murders, including that of Lance-Bombardier Stephen Restorick, who was killed in a sniper attack at a checkpoint in the Co Armagh village of Bessbrook in February.

Mr McGinn, 39, from Castleblaney in the Irish Republic, was also charged with the murders of Lance-Bombardier Andrew Garrett, who died in a similar attack in December 1993, and of former UDR soldier Gilbert Johnston who was shot dead in South Armagh 19 years ago.

Micheal Caraher, 30, from Cullyhanna in South Armagh, was charged with the attempted murder of an RUC constable who was injured in a gun attack last month.

Together with Martin Mines, 28, from Glassdrumman Road, Crossmaglen, the two men were also charged with conspiracy to murder, membership of the IRA, and possession of a Barrett bolt-action rifle, an AKM assault rifle and ammunition. Appearing separately in court, they were all remanded in custody until 7 May.

In 1990 Micheal Caraher was seriously injured and his brother Fergal killed in an incident when troops opened fire on a car. Two Royal Marines were later acquitted on a charge of murdering Fergal Caraher.

Mr McGinn appeared in the dock with his hands handcuffed behind his back until the magistrate ordered his arms should be freed. His face appeared bruised and his defence solicitor listed injuries he alleged had been inflicted by soldiers.

The solicitor said he had been injured on the nose, the right ear, the head, both eyes, the right shoulder, the right arm and the lower back and knees. An RUC detective-inspector said that when Mr McGinn was apprehended there was a struggle, but he could not comment on whether he had any injuries before then.