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Duffy co-accused Henry Fitzsimons out for family event

By Alan Erwin

Published 15/05/2015

Terror charges: Colin Duffy
Terror charges: Colin Duffy

An alleged senior dissident republican charged with trying to murder police officers can be released from custody to attend his child's first communion, a High Court judge ruled.

Mr Justice Weir extended Henry Fitzsimons' temporary compassionate bail after he gave a pledge to honour all conditions.

Fitzsimons (46) faces a series of terrorist charges linked to a gun attack on a police convoy in north Belfast in December 2013.

A police Land Rover and two other vehicles came under fire on the Crumlin Road. Two AK47 rifles and spent ammunition were later recovered, along with a burnt-out taxi the gunmen used to escape. Fitzsimons, of no fixed address, was later arrested with co-accused Colin Duffy and Alex McCrory.

Although Fitzsimons had already been granted permission to attend church for the first communion ceremony, he was seeking an extended release to go to a private family gathering.

Opposing his application, the prosecutor said: "Police are saying these are serious charges and there's a risk of re-engaging."

But Mr Justice Weir was told Fitzsimons got out for a similar event last year and abided by all conditions. He asked the accused: "Do you promise me on your own word that if you're released on bail in the same way you will honour bail?"

Fitzsimons, who appeared by prison video-link, replied: "I will, 100%."

The judge told him: "You can go to your family gathering, but be back by five o'clock. Have a nice day."

Belfast Telegraph

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