MAN HELD IN CUSTODY OVER SEIZURE OF AK47 MACHINE GUN
A DUBLIN man with an address in West Belfast has been remanded in custody charged with possession of a machine gun.
Vincent ‘Vinny’ Kelly, of Hawthorn Street, Belfast, is accused of possession of an assault rifle and ammunition with intent to endanger life. The 29-year-old was also charged with having 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition and three magazines for the weapon. The charges relate to an incident last Thursday night when police recovered the assault rifle from a taxi which was stopped as it travelled along the Grosvenor Road in West Belfast. Three men, aged 27, 29 and 46, who were arrested from a property in Hawthorn Street during a follow-up search were later released without charge. Police said at the time that the 27-year-old was also being questioned about a grenade attack on police in Ardoyne in North Belfast just over a week ago, (pictured on the bottom right). A grenade launcher was fired at an RUC/PSNI Land Rover parked at the Twaddell protest camp by a man using a homemade launcher. The attack was admitted by the group calling itself the IRA. The device pierced the outer skin of the vehicle but not the inner armour. Since the attack police have changed tactics at the Ardoyne interface. A static patrol in place since the start of a loyalist protest in July last year has been pulled back from the flashpoint interface with the nationalst Ardoyne area. Kelly refused to stand as he was brought into the dock in Belfast Magistrates Court and gave no response as the charges were put to him. About 10 supporters cheered and whistled as he entered the dock. He looked up only to give a thumbs-up gesture. A detective told the court he beleived he could connect the defendant to the charge. Defence solicitor Ciaran Toner confirmed that no application for bail was being made at this stage and put no questions to the officer in relation to his client. The case was adjourned for four weeks. District Judge Peter King ordered Kelly – who waved at supporters – to be taken to the cells. Kelly is well known in republican circles and is a former close friend of murdered Real Irish Republican (RIRA) boss Alan Ryan,( pictured below on the right). He moved to Belfast shortly after Ryan’s murder by criminal (so-called) elements in the capital in Dublin City in 2012. The case is expected to be heard again via videolink on December 22.
POLICE INCREASE CENTRAL BELFAST PATROLS
POLICE are ramping up their presence in central Belfast amid concerns that dissident republicans may target the area in the run-up to Christmas.
RUC/PSNI commander Chief Superintentent Nigel Grimshaw said people can expect an increase in vehichle checks (during the so-called Peace process) and both visible and plain-clothed foot patrols during the festive period. Around 1,000 vehicles have already been stopped in the first few days of the operation. Mr Grimshaw said police were keen to balance the need to provide reassurance and protection without over-policing the city. “It’s there to provide reassurance and prevent and deter people who might want to bring something into the city centre from a more sinister point of view” he said. Last December dissident attacks caused signifcanct disruption in the city centre. Festive revellers escaped injury when a small bomb exploded in the busy Catherderal Quarter.
With many thanks to: The Irish News, for the orgional story.