Belfast Telegraph

Watch: 'My nightmare is finally over' - republican Tony Taylor speaks after prison release

Dissident republican prisoner Tony Taylor has spoken of his relief after being released from jail after nearly 1000 days.

In a video at their Londonderry home, his wife Lorraine said that her family's "nightmare" was finally over and that having her husband back was an early Christmas present.

Tony Taylor said he was "delighted" to be reunited with his family.

"Due to strict conditions on myself I have to be very careful what I say, I can't really talk about my internment or anything around that at all.

"It's great to be home again. It's great to be here with my mother and father, I'm delighted to be back with them and I know that they've missed me alot. They are up in age, I've always been there for them and I want to continue to do that.

"Between them and my own family, I'm sure I'll be kept right and busy, my mother's already got jobs for me and I'm only out a couple of hours. We're all back together again and that's the main thing."

He was released from prison on Wednesday evening after 994 days.

Taylor was returned to Maghaberry Prison in March 2016, on the instructions of the then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public.

However, he was not charged with or convicted of any new offence.

His wife Lorraine said she was "delighted" to have him home.

"Thank god, my nightmare's finally over. I'd just like to thank the people of Derry for their faith, for all their campaigning for Tony, and for all their support during the two and a half years" Mrs Taylor said.

"It's been a long process, but I'm glad now they made the decision to let him home. An early Christmas present for us all."

Taylor, a former IRA man, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1994 after he was seriously injured in a premature explosion in Derry.

He was then released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2011, Taylor was then sentenced to three years behind bars for possession of a rifle in a case that made history by using covert surveillance evidence gathered by a drone.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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