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Judge warns high-profile republican Colin Duffy over bail breach


Colin Duffy

Colin Duffy

Photopress Belfast

Colin Duffy

A high-profile republican arrested after failing to answer his door could be kept in custody for any further breach, a judge has warned.

Colin Duffy appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Tuesday over an alleged breach of his bail on IRA membership charges.

The 52-year-old, whose address cannot be disclosed, is currently on trial with two other men accused of directing terrorism.

Duffy was detained after police called at his home just before 6am today but got no answer.

The incident coincided with the birthday of his son Seanna, who died in a car crash at the age of 19 last July, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Darragh Mackin said Duffy had been up until the early hours comforting his other children.

When the family eventually went to bed no-one heard the door being knocked.

Stressing that it was Duffy's first breach in the four years he's been on bail, the lawyer argued that his client should be released again.

"These are exceptional circumstances, it would be entirely unfair and disproportionate (to keep him in custody)," Mr Mackin said.

District Judge George Conner was told Duffy's previous bail conditions had been relaxed by the removal of an electronic tag.

Acknowledging the tragic loss of the accused's son, Mr Conner agreed to release him again on the same terms.

He said: "It's with a very clear warning that any further breach may result in a remand in custody."

Meanwhile, Duffy's non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court remains adjourned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with co-defendants Henry Fitzsimons, 51, and Alex McCrory, 58, he denies all charges against him.

Belfast Telegraph