Belfast Telegraph

Six in camouflage during dissident march in Derry avoid jail

The defendants were handed two-month jail sentences, suspended for two years, at Londonderry Magistrates Court by District Judge Barney McElholm (stock photo)
The defendants were handed two-month jail sentences, suspended for two years, at Londonderry Magistrates Court by District Judge Barney McElholm (stock photo)

By George Jackson

Five men and a woman were yesterday convicted of wearing camouflage clothing at a republican parade two years ago that indicated they were either members or supporters of a banned terror group.

The defendants were handed two-month jail sentences, suspended for two years, at Londonderry Magistrates Court by District Judge Barney McElholm, who said "even the dogs in the street knew these people were supporting a proscribed organisation and I have no doubt anyone observing would have reached the same conclusion".

Mr McElholm said he had to ask himself why people walked down an urban street wearing camouflage. That, he said, was something he could not understand and he said anyone in a reasonable frame of mind would conclude that people in camouflage "were in support of some sort of military solution".

Four of those convicted of the offence on Easter Monday (April 17) 2017 come from Derry - Mark Canning (43), from St Eithne's Park; James Anthony Kelly (59), from Chamberlain Street; Eamonn Barry Millar (35), from Rafferty Close, and Emmet McSheffrey (20), of Oakland Park. Also convicted were two Strabane residents: Brian Maguire (40), from Hazelwood, and Lorna Margaret Brady (45), from Drumallagh.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the parade led by a uniformed colour party making its way from the Bogside to the City Cemetery where an oration was delivered.

Defence QC Eoghan Devlin said the parade was lawful as permission had been granted.

A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service said the term "unfinished revolution" had been used on the website of Junior McDaid House advertising the parade and people who attended the parade would have been led to believe it was connected to the group Saoradh, which he said was linked to dissident republican organisations.

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