Belfast Telegraph

West Belfast man accused of dissident activity bailed to go on holiday

By John Cassidy

A west Belfast man charged with allegedly plotting the activities of a violent dissident republican terror group was on Monday granted bail to go on holiday with his wife.

Carl Reilly (42), of Pollard Street, is currently awaiting trial on charges of directing the activities of a terrorist organisation and professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.

The offences were alleged to have been committed on dates between January 1, 2014 and October 17, 2015 at the Carrickdale Hotel in Co Louth.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Crown Court on Monday that Reilly had a "record with a relevant conviction'' and had been on bail for a considerable period of time on the charges.

He told Judge Neil Rafferty QC that the case allegedly revolved around an audio recording made at the Carrickdale Hotel between Reilly and his co-accused Paul Philip Crawford.

Crawford (43), of Carrickree Mews, Warrenpoint, Co Down, is awaiting trial on a charge of belonging to the IRA.

The prosecutor added: "The Crown case is that the audio shows that this defendant is a high-ranking member of the IRA.

"He was talking about incidents that are in the past and about matters of future planning. This was a structured meeting.''

The lawyer told the court that Reilly's bail application was to go on holiday next month for three days to Benidorm.

But he said that the prosecution and police did not know whether the trip was "with a group of friends or with family''.

"If it is a group of friends, then police would like to know who they are. There is a very real risk, police say, of reoffending and re-engaging.''

The lawyer told the court that in February this year Reilly was tracked by police to the Applegreen Service Station on the M1 motorway where he met up with a number of people known to police.

The court heard that although Reilly is allowed a phone, it is not allowed to access the internet.

Asked by Judge Rafferty if it was a "boys trip or a family trip'' Reilly wanted to go on, the prosecutor said they had not been made aware of who Reilly was travelling with.

Defence barrister Dessie Hutton informed the court: "It is not a boy's trip. It is a trip with his wife to Benidorm for a period of three days''

He said that the dates chosen had now been changed because of the cost and that the defendant and his wife now wanted to travel two days earlier.

Mr Hutton stressed to the court that the couple had not booked any flights until the court had made a decision on the bail application.

The lawyer explained to the court that as Reilly had surrendered his passport, he would need his passport details to make an online holiday application.

Following discussions between the defence and the crown, Judge Rafferty agreed to the application to allow Reilly to travel to Spain next month with his wife for a period of three days.

However, the judge added that the application was granted subject to a number of stringent conditions.

Reilly must inform police of the details of his flights; he must give details of the hotel or address where he is staying; he must provide the information about who is travelling with him; and he must surrender his passport within 24 hours of returning to Northern Ireland.

In a separate application, Judge Rafferty refused to vary Reilly's current bail conditions after the prosecution stated they were "proportionate and proper'' given the seriousness of the charges he faced.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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