Belfast Telegraph

Supporters cheer republican activist Dee Fennell as he is remanded following graveyard speech

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

A high-profile republican activist has been remanded in custody after being charged with encouraging acts of terrorism.

Damien 'Dee' Fennell (33), of Duneden Park in Ardoyne, north Belfast, is also accused of inviting support for a proscribed organisation.

The charges follow a speech he gave during a 1916 commemoration event at St Colman's graveyard in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on Easter Sunday.

Fennell stood with his arms folded in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court and spoke twice to confirm his identity and that he understood the charges.

Fennell, who is also a spokesman for the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective which opposes Orange Order marches, waved at a crowd of about 40 supporters who had packed the public gallery.

A PSNI detective sergeant told the court he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan said there was no application for bail but that one would be made at a later date. District Judge Mervyn Bates said: "You are remanded by this court, there being no application for bail."

A crowd of supporters refused to stand as the judge entered the courtroom, and cheered as Fennell was taken out of the courtroom.

Fennell is due to appear in court again via videolink on May 1.

Belfast Telegraph


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