Restaurateur tells court about threat

4 June 2010
The Irish News

Two men claiming to be from the IRA ordered a woman to hand over deeds to a Portuguese restaurant or she would "get it," a gun-smuggling trial has heard.

Giving evidence at the Belfast Crown Court trial of three Co Armagh men accused of a gun-smuggling plot, Theresa Murphy said she and her former partner Owen McNamee had been running the Panda restaurant after it was bought by one of the defendants, 41-year-old Dermot Declan Gregory aka Michael Dermot from Concession Road in Crossmaglen.

She told the court that 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 to the restaurant.

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

She recounted to prosecuting QC Gordon Kerr how, after one man whom she described as "very overweight, tall and baldy" demanded the deeds, he also 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 to which 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, both in Lurgan.

McCaugherty faces all seven charges: conspiring to possess firearms and explosives and using almost EUR46,000 for terrorist purposes, membership of the IRA and making the deeds of a Portuguese restaurant available for the purposes of terrorism.

Kearns is accused with him 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.

Ms Murphy said that when the two men were in her house, the fat tall one took out a number of documents from a folder and showed them to her adding that it was a photograph of her and her partner at the restaurant and personal details of her two daughters.

0 Responses to "Restaurateur tells court about threat"
Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors