Prosecution of ill Marian Price not in public interest: solicitor
A solicitor for Marian Price McGlinchey has told the Director of Public Prosecutions that the convicted Old Bailey bomber is so unwell it would not be in the public interest to prosecute her.
Peter Corrigan said Mrs McGlinchey had been deemed unfit to attend court and since she was transferred from Hydebank Prison to hospital last May she had been examined by 16 doctors.
The republican veteran was arrested in May 2011 and returned to custody by the then Secretary of State Owen Paterson.
He revoked her licence after she was photographed holding a page from which a masked man read a statement at a dissident rally in Derry's city cemetery.
Mrs Price McGlinchey is charged with addressing the same meeting, held to encourage support for the IRA, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.
Speaking at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court, Mr Corrigan told District Judge Barney McElholm that the defendant had been hospitalised in May of this year “and since then her physical and mental wellbeing have gradually worsened”.
“In all the circumstances how could it be in the public interest to prosecute a very ill woman?” he asked.
Mr Corrigan asked the prosecution lawyer in court to convey his comments to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McCrory, with a view to him urgently reviewing if going ahead with the case was in the public interest.
Mr McElholm said he would consider holding a preliminary enquiry hearing for Mrs Price McGlinchey in hospital even though he said such a situation would provoke serious issues in terms of her physical wellbeing to participate in such a process.
He adjourned the hearing for one month to enable discussions to take place between the various legal parties.
Meanwhile, three local men charged with assisting in the management of the same city cemetery meeting were returned for trial after their cases were separated from the Price McGlinchey's case.
Marvin Canning (50), from Galliagh Park, Patrick McDaid (42), from Beechwood Avenue, and Frank Quigley (30), from Elmwood Road, were each released on their own bail of £1,000 for their trial in Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.