70-Year-Old Convicted Over Firearms 'Factory'

A 70-year-old man has been sentenced to six and a half years after he was convicted for firearms and explosives offences.

Thomas Maguire, of Suffolk Drive, west Belfast, was arrested in August 2011 following a high speed car chase with police.

Hidden inside the panel of the Mondeo car, officers found three revolvers, a 'coffee jar grenade', component parts for three similar grenades, 100 rounds of ammunition, a disassembled semi-automatic firearm and a suspected shotgun propellant.

Mr Maguire was sentenced to a custodial sentence of six and a half years. Three years three months will be in prison and the remainder will be on licence.

He was identified from a fingerprint found on part of a firearm which had been recovered from a workshop in Newry the previous year.

Police had uncovered a large quantity of firearms and ammunition from the 'firearms factory' at the rear of a house at Aileen Terrace in Newry in September 2010.

The operation is thought to have been manufacturing and modifying component parts for firearms since 2008 on behalf of dissident republican terrorists.

Detective Superintendent Glenn Wright, from Serious Crime Branch, said: "Police will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to bring before the courts all those involved in terrorist-linked offences, regardless of age.

"We will pursue every strand of evidence to ensure we maximise all investigative and forensic opportunities. The community which we are pledged to serve and our colleagues who we are determined to protect deserve nothing less. Our work will continue. We would ask people to work with us to keep everyone safe."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 November 2021
NI Faces Childcare Crisis That Could Impact Parent's Ability To Work
Northern Ireland could be facing a childcare crisis which would have a severe impact on parents' ability to work, the Employers for Childcare (EfC) charity has warned.
26 November 2021
Survivors Central To Tackling Violence Against Women And Girls
The voices and experiences of survivors must be central in the efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, the First Minister and deputy First Minister have said. Paul Givan and Michelle O'Neill were speaking on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as Women's Aid launch their 'Hear Her Voice' project.
09 July 2002
NI religious attitudes hardening
There is an increasing hardening of attitudes by both Protestants and Catholics towards living, working and learning together according to new research. The research conducted by the University of Ulster reveals that Protestants’ and Catholics’ perceptions of each other are becoming increasingly negative.
28 September 2021
ASOS To Create Over 180 New Jobs In Belfast
Leading online fashion retailer ASOS has announced that it is to establish a new Tech Hub in Belfast with the creation of 184 new jobs over the next three years.
07 April 2005
Policing Board wants to improve three key areas
The Northern Ireland Policing Board today outlined three key areas it wants to improve on over the next three years. The Board, which published its aims in its new Corporate Plan for the period 1 April 2005 – 31 March 2008, said it wants to improve on ‘Effectiveness, Efficiency and Public Confidence’.