Belfast Telegraph

Terror accused refused bail for christening

By Paul Higgins

Terror suspect Damien Duffy has been refused compassionate bail to attend his daughter's christening, because it would mean him being free overnight.

Craigavon Magistrates' Court heard yesterday that the christening was due to take place at 5.30pm next Saturday, but that the prison could not accept Duffy back any time after 5pm and the christening could not be brought forward.

A lawyer for the prosecution said that would necessitate Duffy being free overnight as the earliest the jail could accept him back was 9am the following day, adding that police objected to that.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan said that, given police concerns, she was refusing the application for Duffy's temporary release.

Duffy (46) from Westclare Court in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, is on remand at Maghaberry prison where he faces a charge of preparation of terrorist acts, namely targeting a former member of the security forces, in September last year. Facing the same charge are Lurgan men Ciaran Magee (24), from Lake Street, and Shea Reynolds (22), from Kilwilkie Road.

A fourth man, Luke O'Neill (22), from Silverwood Green, also in Lurgan, is accused of attempting to murder police officers between August 30 and September 2 last year as well as possession of explosives with intent to endanger life.

The men were arrested after a large-scale security operation during which police recovered a fully-prepared, explosively-formed projectile that was ready for deployment.

During a previous unsuccessful bail application for Magee, a detective constable claimed he was "a member of an active IRA unit," telling the court how police received information that a rucksack had been moved from the site of a former factory in Lurgan.

The officer said police objected to bail because of the possibility of re-offending as this offence had allegedly been committed while Magee was on bail for riot, and claimed Magee was a member of an active service unit of the IRA and this was considered a threat to national security.

Belfast Telegraph


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