Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Two in court over PSNI murder bid

Kevin Barry Nolan (left) and Gerard James McManus (right)
Kevin Barry Nolan (left) and Gerard James McManus (right)

Two men have appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of a student police officer in County Fermanagh.

The charges follow an undercover police operation on Saturday when a shot was fired at officers. Police returned fire but no-one was injured.

In the dock were Kevin Barry Nolan, 32, from Main Street, Blacklion in County Cavan and Gerard James McManus, 26, from Fern Hill in Letterkenny, County Donegal.

Both men were remanded in custody.

As well as the attempted murder, the pair were also charged with having a gun.

Mr McManus was further charged with using a gun to resist arrest.

'Military surveillance'

In relation to that charge, a defence solicitor asked a detective in the court if it was true his client had given a version of events in which he said shots had been fired at him and he had fled, and that while doing this, he had fired a shot away from the undercover police officers.

The detective confirmed that this was the version of events Mr McManus had given.

When the police officer was asked if a special military surveillance unit had been involved in the operation, he said he could not answer that question.

Both of the accused are expected to appear in court again next month.

In 2005, Mr Nolan stood as independent republican candidate in local council elections in County Fermanagh.

He polled 115 first preference votes, 0.2% of votes cast.

Two years later, he signed the nomination papers for another independent republican candidate who unsuccessfully stood in the Northern Ireland Assembly election.

Cross-border arrests

Three other men arrested after the weekend gun attack, which took place in the village of Garrison, were released without charge on Monday.

Two were arrested by the PSNI in Fermanagh and one by Irish police in County Leitrim.

Meanwhile, the police are appealing for information about a car thought to be linked to the shooting.

They want to hear from anyone who saw a blue Vauxhall Astra, registration UBZ 6206, in the Fermanagh area on Saturday 21 November.

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