Former Sinn Féin councillor denies shooting policeman

A former Sinn Féin councillor denies shooting a policeman dead, a court heard today.

A former Sinn Féin councillor denies shooting a policeman dead, a court heard today.

Brendan McConville (aged 37) is charged with murdering PC Stephen Carroll earlier this month.

Unemployed McConville, from Glenholme Avenue, Lurgan, Co Armagh, was also accused of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The dissident republican Continuity IRA claimed responsibility following the policeman’s death in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

Defence solicitor Kevin Winters asked police to confirm that he denies shooting PC Carroll.

Detective Inspector John Caldwell confirmed this but said he could connect him with all charges.

There was a heavy security presence at Lisburn magistrate Rosemary Watters’ court, with riot police standing guard and security checkpoints in Lisburn.

McConville served on Craigavon Borough Council from 1993 to 1997.

He was charged with possessing an AKM assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property or enable another to do so, plus the murder on March 9.

Belfast’s High Court ruled today that six men charged in connection with three security force killings – of PC Carroll and two soldiers – should be charged or released.

McConville nodded at friends in the half-empty court as he was led in wearing handcuffs. He is heavily built and wore a green T-shirt.

He arrived in a police car sandwiched by armoured Land Rovers.

A line of riot police wearing flak jackets filed into the old courthouse after his arrival but there were no signs of any protest.

There was no application for bail and McConville was remanded in custody until April 3 at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court. He has been in custody for 15 days.

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