Belfast Telegraph

Terror accused Damien Duffy has bail altered so he can go to family event in Donegal

Charges: Damien Duffy
Charges: Damien Duffy

By Staff Reporter

The brother of prominent republican Colin Duffy has had his bail varied to allow him to attend a family event in Donegal this weekend.

Damien Duffy is facing terrorist charges arising from the discovery of explosives in Co Armagh in September 2016, and is accused of being part of a plot to target a former police officer.

The 49-year old, from Westclare Court in Dungannon, applied to have his bail varied to allow him an overnight stay in Donegal. The aim of the trip, Belfast Crown Court heard, was to attend a family event today in the wake of his nephew's death.

Seanna Duffy (19), the son of Colin Duffy, died earlier this month following a car crash on the Saintfield Road in Lisburn.

Niall Murphy, the solicitor for Damien Duffy, said Seanna's death has had a "catastrophic effect" on the Duffy family, who wanted to get away for a few days and "be as a family unit".

Mr Murphy asked Judge RoseAnn McCormick to relax Duffy's bail conditions for one night to allow him to stay overnight at a B&B and attend a family meal today.

A prosecuting barrister said a co-accused of Duffy's, Shea Reynolds - who has two children with Colin Duffy's daughter - had his bail conditions relaxed earlier this week to allow him to travel to Donegal and stay in a caravan with his partner and her family.

Telling Judge McCormick that as part of bail conditions Damien Duffy and Shea Reynolds were banned from having contact with each other, the prosecutor expressed concerns that due to the "family background", the two men would associate with each other.

Mr Murphy revealed Seanna Duffy was not just his client's nephew, but also his godson.

Addressing the Crown's concerns that the two men would associate this weekend, Mr Murphy said: "If requested, Mr Reynolds will not attend the dinner, so Mr Duffy can go."

The judge then called Duffy to the witness box where she asked for his undertaking "that he will not remain in the same room as Mr Reynolds, if he is permitted to go".

Duffy swore on the Bible, then told Judge McCormick he and Reynolds were "aware of the situation and try to avoid each other".

Judge McCormick then asked Duffy: "Will you give me your undertaking that if Shea Reynolds attends the family dinner, you will not remain and will leave?"

Duffy replied: "We have that agreement in place, that we know the situation regarding the two of us. We have it planned that we will have as minimal contact as possible."

The judge then said that after being given a "personal assurance" from Duffy that he would leave the event if Reynolds was present, she was prepared to relax bail to allow him to stay overnight in Donegal.

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