TWO men have appeared in court charged with the robbery and attempted robbery of two shops in the Falls area on Sunday.

On Sunday two men attempted to rob McKenna's shop, Rockville Street, but left empty handed before carrying out another robbery at the Day Today on Iveagh Street where a staff member was threatened, before making off with cash and cigarettes.

The men, Sean Paul Fisher, 38, of Norglen Crescent and John McKissock, 21, of no-fixed abode, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged in connection with both incidences.

In court District Judge Steven Keown remanded both in custody with their next appearance by video-link on March 8.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Detectives investigating robberies in Rockville Street and Iveagh Street in Belfast on Sunday 18 February have charged two men, aged 38 and 21, with robbery, attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.

"Three other people were also arrested  as part of the investigation. A man and woman were released on police bail whilst one further man has been released unconditionally."