IRA said they'd kill me, woman tells court

4 June 2010 
Belfast Telegraph
Paul Higgins

A woman has told a court how she believed the IRA would kill her unless she handed over deeds to a Portuguese restaurant.

Theresa Murphy told Belfast Crown Court she and her former partner Owen McNamee had been running the Panda restaurant after it was bought by Crossmaglen man Dermot Declan Gregory (41), also known as Michael Dermot.

She said two men called at her Newry home in June 2005 and told her "we are from the IRA" before demanding that she hand over the deeds.

"They said it wasn't Declan's," said Ms Murphy. "It was the IRA's."

She recounted how, after "a very overweight, tall and baldy" man demanded the deeds, he ordered her to go back to Portugal and get a lease contract for the rental of the premises within two weeks.

"Were you told what the consequences would be if you didn't deliver or get the contract?" asked the lawyer.

Ms Murphy replied: "Yes, that I would get it. I understood that they meant that they would kill me."

Alongside Gregory in the dock are Paul Anthony John McCaugherty (43), from Beech Court, and Desmond Paul Kearns (44), from Tannaghmore Green, in Lurgan.

McCaugherty faces seven charges: conspiring to possess firearms and explosives and using almost €46,000 for terrorist purposes, IRA membership and making the deeds of a Portuguese restaurant available for the purposes of terrorism.

Kearns is accused with McCaughtery of conspiring to possess firearms and explosives, while Gregory is accused of making the deeds of the restaurant in Portugal available for the purposes of terrorism.

At hearing.

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