Belfast Telegraph

Nine men up in court over illegal dissident parade in Co Armagh

By Staff Reporter

Three men have appeared in court on charges arising from an alleged illegal republican parade.

Declan McCrory (47), Sean Pearson (34) and 44-year-old Damien Harte refused to stand in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court yesterday, choosing instead to sit side by side.

With a heavy police presence at the court, the trio also refused to confirm whether they understood the charges against them, although their solicitors did.

McCrory, from the Aghaboy Road in Omagh, and Pearson are accused of taking part in an unnotified parade and wearing military-style clothing "giving rise to a suspicion that he was a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation" on March 31 this year.

Pearson, from Culmore Park in Omagh, and Harte, of no fixed address, were also accused of assaulting and resisting police on the same date.

The charges arise following disturbances at a parade in the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan and, giving evidence to the court, a police officer said he believed he could connect the three men to them.

Freed on continuing bail, the three were ordered to appear again on June 8.

Six other men, accused of being the "colour party" at the parade, appeared in the same dock a short time later.

The six are: Eamon Green (30), from the Falls Road in Belfast; Christopher Hamill (28), from Lurgan Tarry in Lurgan; Martin Conlon (48), from Tarry Drive in Lurgan; Emmet Donnan (30), from Colin Mill in Dunmurry in Belfast; Matthew O'Donnell (39), from Lislane Drive in Londonderry, and Gary Doherty (36), from Old Mountfield Road in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

They are also accused of taking part in an unnotified public procession and having clothing or articles as a member or a supporter of an outlawed organisation.

When they first appeared in Lisburn Court earlier this month an officer claimed they were all members of the colour party associated with the parade.

In court yesterday a police officer made an application for bail conditions to be varied in relation to a planned protest at Lurgan police station this weekend, but District Judge Bernie Kelly said she had no authority.

She warned, however, that if any of the accused were at the protest "it only takes someone else to degenerate the situation which is something else entirely".

"If they breach their bail or are charged, they won't get bail a second time," she added.

The six men are also due back in court on June 8.

Belfast Telegraph

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