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Colin Duffy and Alex McCrory released on bail after two years

Published 17/02/2016

Colin Duffy
Colin Duffy

Prominent dissident republicans Colin Duffy and Alex McCrory have been released on bail after spending more than two years in prison.

Colin Duffy, from Lurgan, and Alex McCrory, from west Belfast, were released on Thursday afternoon.

The pair have been awaiting trial since 2013.

Defence lawyers mounted successful applications based on the delay in the criminal proceedings.

They are fighting attempts to prosecute them along with Henry Fitzsimons for a series of alleged terror-related offences.

The three men are accused of belonging to an IRA grouping, and attempting to murder members of the PSNI.

They faces further counts of possessing firearms and ammunition, and conspiring with to murder security force members.

The alleged offences are connected to a gun attack on a police convoy in the north of the city.

A PSNI Landrover and two accompanying vehicles came under fire on the Crumlin Road in December 2013.

Lawyers for 48-year-old Duffy, formerly of Forest Glade in Lurgan; 54-year-old McCrory, from Sliabh Dubh View in Belfast; and 47-year-old Fitzsimons, of no fixed address, are challenging the strength of the evidence against them.

They contend that the three accused should not be returned for trial.

Last week Fitzsimons was granted bail after spending 27 months in custody.

During preliminary inquiry proceedings at Belfast Magistrates' Court today lawyers for Duffy and McCrory secured their releases from custody too.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan confirmed: "Mr Duffy and Mr McCrory were granted bail due to the excessive delay and uncertainty over any predicted trial date."

A District Judge imposed tight conditions, including curfews, electronic monitoring and daily reporting to police.

The pair are also banned from leaving the jurisdiction and must surrender any travel documents.

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