New bid to release veteran republican Marian Price
A new legal bid is being prepared to free veteran republican Marian Price after a terror charge against her was dismissed.
The challenge will centre on Secretary of State Owen Paterson's decision to revoke the 57-year-old's release from prison on licence, her lawyer confirmed.
Price, from Stockman's Avenue, Belfast, was among four defendants to have charges in connection with an Easter Rising commemoration parade in Londonderry’s city cemetery last year dismissed by a judge.
She had been accused of managing a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation.
Her three co-accused were released due to delays in preparation of preliminary inquiry papers in the case.
But Price remains in custody on a separate charge connected to the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks in Antrim.
She denies providing property, including a mobile phone, for terrorist purposes in connection with the killing of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey in March 2009.
Price had her licence revoked by the Secretary of State almost a year ago.
Mr Paterson said at the time that her licence had been revoked because the threat she posed had
“significantly increased”. Her lawyer claimed the case against her over the Derry incident was “a central plank” in Mr Paterson's decision.
Kevin Winters said: “One year later we are told today that the charge has been withdrawn.
“This raises serious doubts on the credibility of the reasons to revoke her licence, and we intend to revisit this through the courts.”
Possible options include issuing judicial review proceedings or a writ of habeas corpus seeking her release from detention.
With Price, also known by her married name of McGlinchey, said to have been too ill to attend a number of court hearings, Mr Winters added: “The timing of this is significant given Marian's deteriorating health.”
In 1973 Price was jailed for 20 years for her involvement in an IRA bombing campaign in London, alongside her sister Dolours and Sinn Fein minister Gerry Kelly. She is now a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
A Freedom of Information request recently revealed that it cost £194,537 to house Price in Maghaberry prison for a nine-month period, before she was moved to Hydebank women's prison earlier this year.
Price had been sent to Maghaberry, an all-male prison, following her arrest last year but was then moved to Hydebank on the advice of health trust staff.