Colin Duffy relatives accused of murder conspiracy
Three relatives of prominent republican Colin Duffy have been charged with a series of terrorist offences, including conspiring to murder.
His older brother Paul was charged with directing terrorism when he appeared in court on Saturday.
It is believed the seldom-used offence has not been brought since notorious UFF leader Johnny Adair was convicted back in 1995.
But on Saturday Paul Duffy (47) from Lurgan was charged with the offence at Lisburn Magistrate’s Court while in Omagh two people — Sharon Rafferty and Sean Kelly — appeared on a similar charge relating to alleged dissident republican activity.
The Lisburn case against the Duffys followed operations involving the PSNI and the security services.
There was heavy security at Lisburn Courthouse as Paul Duffy appeared in the dock alongside his brother Damien Duffy (42) and cousin Shane Duffy (41).
Colin Duffy and other friends and relatives were at the courthouse to offer support.
In court, a solicitor for the three Lurgan men said the Duffys believe that “their family are subject to persecution by the police and they want that ventilated”.
All three men were charged with four offences relating to preparing acts of terrorism, conspiring to murder and conspiring with each other to cause an explosion.
Only Paul Duffy, from Ailsbury Gardens in the Co Armagh town, faces the directing terrorism charge.
Damien Duffy, from Campbell Walk and Shane Duffy, from the Kilwilkie Road, were charged with collecting information and logistical information “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism” and with collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists. The trio also face a charge that on dates between June 7 last year and May 14 this year, they conspired to murder persons unknown.