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South Armagh man accused of being concerned in Class A, B and C drugs supply refused bail

A police constable told court there was 'discontent' in the South Armagh area with the defendant being labelled as a drug dealer on social media and his home being subject to an arson attack

Armagh Courthouse

A South Armagh man charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A, B and C drugs following searches at property belonging to him has been refused bail.

Objecting to the 32-year-old’s release, a constable told court there was “discontent” in the South Armagh area with the defendant being named as a drug dealer on social media and his home being subject to an arson attack.

Finbar Stephen Maguire, of no fixed abode, appeared facing a total of 10 charges at Armagh Magistrates’Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday via videolink from police custody.

He is charged with two counts of possession of Class A with intent to supply, possession of Class C with intent to supply, two counts of possession of Class A, possession of Class C, possessing criminal property, being concerned in the supply of Class A, being concerned in the supply of Class B and being concerned in the supply of Class C.

Maguire was connected to the charges by a constable, who told court that an application for bail was being objected to.

The constable outlined that on May 15, during searches of property belonging to the defendant, a quantity of suspected cocaine and a bag of tablets labelled Xanax were located.

Other items including deal bags, cash and mobile phones were also seized from the address.

Maguire was arrested and when cautioned replied, “It’s not hers” in relation to his partner.

Upon examination of the mobile phone, the constable claimed that the defendant was believed to have been concerned in the supply of Class A, B and C drugs.

On August 9, Maguire was further arrested for these offences at a caravan in Crossmaglen.

A search was conducted of the mobile home, during which a further bag of white powder was allegedly located under a sofa, along with £1,000 in cash.

Outlining objections, the constable stated that there was a fear of the defendant committing further offences with reference made to him having 39 previous convictions and currently being subject to a probation order.

He added that Maguire posed a risk to the public with his “role in the supply of drugs” and that he himself could also be at risk of harm.

The constable commented: “There is a discontent in South Armagh and Crossmaglen around the supply of drugs …..there have been messages on social media in which the defendant was named as a drug dealer and there may be repercussions of this.”

He informed the court that on June 17, a home at which Maguire had resided was subject to an arson attack, with windows being broken and the words “rest in peace” being graffitied on the walls.

Court heard that the defendant had refused to co-operate with police in relation to this, the constable adding that the caravan at which Maguire was now residing was not the address he was registered at with probation.

A further objection which was outlined was that the defendant would fail to surrender, with the constable telling court 10 warrants had been issued for his arrest between 2010 and 2020.

Defence solicitor John Murphy put it to the constable that no forensic tests had been carried out on the substances seized during the searches and that his client had remained in Crossmaglen since his initial arrest.

He commented that his client had ties to the area and highlighted that Maguire had no previous convictions in relation to drugs offences.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter stated: “I have listened very carefully to what has been said but I am not satisfied there are grounds for bail.”

Refusing bail on the grounds of risk of reoffending, Maguire was remanded into custody as the case was adjourned until September 7 for an update.

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