Men Jailed For Planting Bomb Ahead Of PSNI Recruitment Event

Two men who planted a bomb in the car park of a hotel in L'Derry ahead of a PSNI recruitment event have been sentenced to 10 years.

Darren Poleon, 43, and Brian Walsh, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property and possession of articles for use in terrorism.

They each received a sentence of five years in custody and five years on licence.

Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney, from PSNI's Serious Crime Branch, said: "These two men planted a viable explosive device in the grounds of a hotel ahead of a PSNI recruitment event at the Waterfoot Hotel on October 9. Their intention was undoubtedly to murder and seriously injure people as well as to deter people from pursuing a career in policing. They had no regard for the safety of anyone staying in or visiting this popular hotel. I'm thankful we were able to thwart their efforts as I have no doubt that if the device had exploded people would have been killed or at the very least seriously injured.

"We believe the device was placed in the car park on the Tuesday evening and it was not found until the Friday. The device was made from a fire extinguisher filled with 1.5kg of explosives, and was found along with a detonating system.

"Poleon and Walsh were initially arrested by police in the Drumragh Avenue area of Omagh on Tuesday 06 October 2015 after the Ford Focus car they were travelling in was seen being driven erratically.
News Image
"When police searched the car they found a number of items including bolt cutters, walkie-talkies, a toy gun, balaclavas, gloves and two mobile phones. A SAT NAV system was also recovered from the car for analysis. The men were arrested at this time on suspicion of going equipped for burglary and possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and were later bailed to return to Omagh Police Station in December."

Detective Chief Inspector Kearney added: "During our enquiries we analysed the SAT NAV system recovered from the car Poleon and Walsh had been travelling in. This provided a link between the car and the three recruitment venues. The car was found to have travelled from Co. Meath to the Waterfoot Hotel on 6th October, when officers believe the device was left in the grounds of the hotel, before travelling onwards to the Strule Civic Centre in Omagh were they were arrested later that night. Further evidence was also gathered to suggest Poleon had made a reservation to stay at the Waterfoot Hotel on Friday 9th October, when police believe an attempt would have been made to move the device inside the hotel building from its position in the grounds.

"Both men were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act on 2nd December 2015 and subsequently charged the following day. Despite initially pleading not guilty they changed their pleas to guilty.

"I am pleased that the threat posed by these two dangerous individuals has been removed and they are now in prison."


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

19 June 2018
Cyclist Critical After Being Found With Head Injury In East Belfast
A cyclist is in a critical condition after being found with a serious head injury in East Belfast. The 21-year-old man was discovered by a passing police patrol on Woodstock Link at around 8.30pm on Sunday, 17 June. The PSNI have launched an investigation and are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.
19 June 2018
Paddy Jackson And Stuart Olding Could Play For Ireland In The Future
Former Ulster players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding may play for Ireland in the future, the IRFU performance director David Nucifora has said. The players were found not guilty of rape at a trial earlier this year. However, their Ulster and Ireland contacts were revoked over Whatsapp and text messages that had been revealed in court.
18 June 2018
Two Men Stable After Slurry Incident In L'Derry
Two men are being treated in hospital following an incident with a slurry tank at a farm in L'Derry. Emergency services attended the scene in the Claudy area at around 4pm on Saturday, 16 June. The men are believed to be aged in their 40s and 70s. The Health & Safety Executive has launched an investigation.
17 April 2015
New Child Car Seat Legislation Introduced
New child car seat legislation has been introduced to offer better protection for children. Child car seats approved under the new standard will offer improved safety features, including a new sizing system (i-Size), to ensure that children are using the correct car seat.
08 October 2013
Car Parks 'Squeezing Profit' From Motorists
Some car park enforcers are "squeezing every penny of profit out of motorists," using methods which are "unfair", according to Environment Minister Mark Durkan.
04 April 2006
Car share website launched
Department for Regional Development (DRD) has today launched a website to allow potential car sharers to find travel partners in a bid to reduce commuter traffic on Northern Ireland's roads.
13 March 2006
Antrim woman dies in road crash
One woman has been killed and a second has been seriously injured during a road traffic incident in the early hours of yesterday morning. Sarah Doris Jones, 25, from Antrim, died in the collision, which is reported to have involved just one car.
04 November 2014
Teenagers Arrested After Attack On Police
Three teenage boys have been arrested after police in L'Derry were attacked with petrol bombs and other missiles on Monday night. The attack began when a large group of young people assembled in the Circular Road and Creggan Heights area and began throwing stones and bottles at police.
06 December 2013
Victoria Square Bomb - Men Released
Two men arrested by police investigating a bomb attack in the centre of Belfast on 24 November have been released unconditionally. The bomb partially exploded in a car at the entrance to Victoria Square, after a man was stopped in north Belfast and told to drive the device to the location.
03 December 2010
NI Men Among Four Charged In Dublin
The men who were charged at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today in connection with the discovery of a mortar in Co Louth on Tuesday have been named as Dalton McKevitt, 35, from Dundalk and Niall Farrell, 34, also from Dundalk.
12 January 2006
Three arrested in connection with Armagh alert
Three County Armagh men have been arrested following a security alert in the city yesterday. The men were arrested last night and are being questioned in connection with incident. Army bomb experts were called to the scene after reports of a car bomb outside the City Hotel.
06 October 2015
Two Men Arrested After Stolen Car Crashes In Newtownabbey
Two men have been arrested after a stolen car crashed into two other vehicles in the Newtownabbey area on Tuesday morning. A silver Renault Clio was reported stolen from a house in east Belfast. Police spotted the vehicle in the Doagh Road area just before 8.45am and a police chase occurred.
10 November 2004
Three men injured in racial attack
Three men have been attacked in what police are treating as a racial incident in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Tuesday evening. At around 9pm, the three men, who are believed to be Latvian, were walking through Lord Lurgan Park when they were attacked by a number of assailants.
22 January 2003
Duo plead guilty to explosive charges
Two men have pleaded guilty today of plotting to cause explosions in London and Birmingham in 2001. Thirty-year-old James McCormack and 19-year-old John Hannan, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing explosions between 1 January and 15 November 2001.
18 June 2018
KFC Staff Fight Off Armed Robbers
The PSNI have issued an appeal for information to an attempted armed robbery of a KFC restaurant in North Belfast. Three men, one armed with a knife, tried to access the locked restaurant on Brougham Street at about 10.15pm on Saturday, 16 June.