Belfast Telegraph

Eight men deny charges over illegal parade by republicans

Thomas Ashe Mellon outside court in Londonderry yesterday
Thomas Ashe Mellon outside court in Londonderry yesterday

By George Jackson

Extra police officers were on duty at the courthouse in Londonderry yesterday as eight men were charged with taking part in an illegal republican parade on Easter Monday.

All eight deny the charge. A ninth co-defendant not in court due to an illness also denies the charge.

The co-defendants, all with addresses in the city, are: William Martin McDonnell (30), a barman from Harvey Street; Paul McIntyre (50), a taxi driver from Ballymagowan Park; John Patrick Nash (64), from Fergleen Park; Thomas Ashe Mellon (42), a taxi driver from Rathmore Road; Gary Hayden (47), a doorman from Tyrconnell Street; Joseph Barr (29), from Sackville Street; Patrick Mellon (26), from John Friel Place, and Andrew Carlin (30), of Woodvale Mews.

All are jointly charged with taking part in an unnotified public procession in the Creggan area on April 2.

They spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.

A police constable told Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter that he believed he could connect the eight co-defendants to the charge denied by each of them.

A defence solicitor said that all matters were to be contested.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service said the full file in the cases was not yet ready.

The cases were adjourned until May 30 with a view to fixing a date for the contested hearings and the defendants were released on continuing bail until that date.

Meanwhile, the prosecution solicitor told Mr Prenter that separate cases against two of the eight defendants are to go ahead.

Barr is also charged with permitting the display at premises in Chamberlain Street of an offensive poster containing the graphic photograph of a nude man with a gun and with literature referring to a deceased police officer.

He denies committing the offence on October 5 last year.

Barr also denies a charge of exhibiting to public view in premises at Chamberlain Street on October 23, 2017 an image of an armed snowman stating 'wishing you an explosive Christmas'.

McDonnell is also charged with exhibiting to public view an image of an armed snowman stating 'wishing you an explosive Christmas' on October 24, 2017 and with painting the image of the armed snowman.

That case was adjourned by the judge until May 9 to enable a date for their contested hearing to be fixed.

Belfast Telegraph

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