Man charged with attempted murder of police officer in Belfast

Off-duty police officer spotted explosive device under car, court told


A 38-year-old man from Co Fermanagh has appeared in court on Friday charged with the attempted murder of a police officer earlier this year.

A bomb was planted under a serving police officer’s car in June.

Peter Thomas Granaghan, from Blackrock Park in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

He was charged in connection with the discovery of a “viable improvised explosive device” in the car park of Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast.

The site is a short distance from the Police Service of Northern Ireland headquarters.

The device was declared viable by army bomb disposal experts.

Dissident republican group, the New IRA, claimed responsibility at the time.

Granaghan was charged with attempted murder, making explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

The accused nodded his head when asked if he understood the charges.

There was a number of PSNI officers in court for Granaghan’s appearance.

Defence solicitor Garry Smyth told the court he was not making a bail application.

A PSNI detective sergeant told the court that an off-duty police officer spotted the device under his car shortly before 3pm.

He contacted the police. Officers attended the scene and saw a wooden box under the driver’s seat which appeared to be connected to wires.

A controlled explosion was carried out and a number of items were seized.

On August 15th, police received the DNA results recovered from two parts of the device. They were found on a wire connected to a battery and a separate piece of wire. The DNA profile allegedly matched that of the defendant’s.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall described the charges as “very serious”.

Granaghan was remanded into custody and is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court via videolink on September 27th. – PA