Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Former IRA chief arrested on bus to Belfast

A former IRA chief wanted over the kidnapping of a supermarket boss was arrested just hours before Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam was due to release him from parole, a Dublin court has heard.

Gardai swooped on the Dublin-Belfast bus near the border with Dundalk in January 1998 and detained Maze prison escapee Brendan McFarlane.

He was charged with firearms offences linked with the November 1983 abduction of Don Tidey.

Mr Tidey was snatched outside his Dublin home by an armed gang and held captive for more than three weeks in a Co Leitrim wood before being rescued by the security forces.

McFarlane, (56) of Jamaica Street, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to three charges linked with the crime.

On day five of his trial at Dublin's Special Criminal Court, Superintendent James Sheridan said that on January 5, 1998, he received a call from one of his superiors to say a man fitting McFarlane's description had boarded the bus in Dublin. He stopped the bus at a permanent checkpoint near the border and McFarlane was arrested.

The trial continues.

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