Belfast Telegraph

Two men to face trial on dissident terror charges

By Alan Erwin

Two men are to stand trial on dissident republican terror charges following a surveillance operation mounted by Irish police, a court in Belfast has ruled.

Carl Reilly and Paul Crawford, both aged 41, had challenged the strength of a prosecution based on an alleged meeting at a hotel near Dundalk, Co Louth in 2015. But following a lengthy preliminary inquiry process a judge held they should be returned for Crown Court trial on a date to be fixed. Reilly, with an address at Pollard Close in Belfast, is accused of directing terrorism and belonging to the IRA. Crawford, from Carrickree Mews in Warrenpoint, Co Down, is charged with membership of the same grouping. The alleged offences were committed over a period between January 2014 and October 2015.

They are said to involve conversations covertly recorded at a meeting in the Carrickdale Hotel. Defence lawyers claim the charges are based on police supposition and opinion, inconsistent Garda statements and poor quality CCTV images.

But Judge Amanda Brady committed both accused for future trial. Reilly remains in custody while Crawford is on conditional bail.

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