Four face trial on terror camp training charges


A judge yesterday set a trial date for three men and a woman charged with attending an alleged Real IRA training camp which had been under security force surveillance.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland said the non-jury trial of the four defendants will start on Monday, June 9, adding that it is expected to last up to six weeks.

The accused are Gavin Coney, 36, of Gorticashel Road, Greencastle, Co Tyrone; his brother Aiden Coney, 34, of Malabhul Road, Omagh; Sharon Rafferty, 38, of Cavana Linn, Pomeroy; and Sean Kelly, 47, of Duneane Crescent, Toombebridge.

They were charged by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch following the discovery of the firing range at Formil Wood, Co Tyrone, in March 2012.

Judge McFarland said part of the delay in the case coming to trial was that an Army technical officer who attended the firing range would not be returning to Northern Ireland until some time in May.

The secret recordings relate to conversations allegedly between Sean Kelly and Sharon Rafferty from 2011 until April 2012.

When the accused first appeared at Omagh Magistrates Court in May 2012, a detective told the district judge that during the conversations, Kelly and Rafferty allegedly discussed targeting police officers and senior prison officers, acquiring firearms, firearms training, recruiting and providing finance for an organisation.

Coney is charged with possessing firearms and ammunition with intent, possessing a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, attending at a place used for terrorists, possession of articles for use in terrorism, possessing a firearm without a certificate, and prepartation of acts of terrorism.