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Dissident activist Damien 'Dee' Fennell to stand trial over Lurgan Easter Rising 1916 speech

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 11/03/2016

Damien 'Dee' Fennell
Damien 'Dee' Fennell

Dissident republican activist Damien 'Dee' Fennell yesterday denied a charge of encouraging support for the IRA.

Fennell, from Torrens Avenue in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, is to stand trial on three charges arising from a speech he gave last Easter at a graveyard in Lurgan during a 1916 Commemoration event.

The 34-year old, who refused to stand in the dock of Belfast Crown Court during the hearing, pleaded not guilty to encouraging acts of terrorism, inviting support for the IRA and addressing a meeting to encourage support for the IRA.

All three offences are dated April 5, 2015, and fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The court heard that the trial, which is due to start in June, would last two days.

After their were no objections from the Crown, Fennell was released on continuing bail ahead of his trial.

The defendant is well-known as a spokesman for the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, which opposes Orange Order marches in north Belfast.

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