Belfast Telegraph

Dissident back in jail as early release licence revoked after 24 hours

By Suzanne Breen

A newly released dissident republican prisoner has been returned to jail - just 24 hours after walking free.

Neil Hegarty (52) is back behind bars after his early release licence was revoked.

He had served five years of a 10-year sentence for the possession of explosives.

The father-of-three lives in Londonderry, but is originally from Cork.

He is the third republican whose licence has been revoked recently.

Tony Taylor from Derry was returned to jail in March 2016, and Gabriel Mackle from Armagh had his licence revoked last month.

Hegarty was released from Maghaberry Prison on Tuesday, but was arrested and brought back to the jail on Wednesday.

The dissident republican party Saoradh is to hold a protest outside Derry's Strand Road PSNI station today against what it calls "internment by remand".

A Department of Justice spokesman said: "We do not comment on individual cases.

"Requests to revoke a licence are independently reviewed by a Parole Commissioner, who will submit a recommendation to revoke/not revoke the licence to the Department of Justice."

Saoradh spokesman Dee Fennell said: "The decision to revoke Neil Hegarty's licence had to be taken when he was in jail as he had been nowhere but home with his family since his release just hours earlier.

"If he remains incarcerated, protest action will be forthcoming."

Hegarty was one of three men stopped by police in a car containing a bomb in the Creggan in December 2012.

He was convicted two years later.

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