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Up to 70 people could be prosecuted for illegal republican parade, court hears

By Paul Higgins

Published 17/08/2016

Kevin Kavanagh leaving Craigavon court where he faces a charge of taking part in an un-notified parade.
Kevin Kavanagh leaving Craigavon court where he faces a charge of taking part in an un-notified parade.

There could be as many as 70 people prosecuted for taking part in an illegal republican parade, a judge heard on Wednesday.

At Craigavon Magistrates Court, a prosecuting lawyer told District Judge Bernie Kelly "there are upwards of 70 files that have been received or are due to be received into the department relating to this matter".

The revelation came after the case against two men from the Republic of Ireland was mentioned.

Kevin Kavanagh (67) from Carleys Bridge in Enniscorthy and Seamus Raymond Byrne (51), The Orchard, Ardee are both charged with taking part in an un-notified public procession on May 28 this year.

The men were amongst several people arrested following a parade by Republican Sinn Fein in Lurgan's Kilwilkie estate and the official opening of a 1916 memorial garden.

While Kavanagh appeared in court on Wednesday, Byrne had been excused from attending so did not hear that his case might be heard in Belfast.

The PPS lawyer told Judge Kelly given the amount of files "a decision will have to be taken" whether the defendants and potential defendants are processed "centrally in Belfast or in the regions."

He added however that a section ought to have been taken by the time the cases are next before the court.

Releasing Kavanagh on continuing bail and ordering that Byrne attends court for the next hearing, Judge Kelly adjourned the case to August 31.

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