Belfast Telegraph

SF TD backs ex-Provo in battle over refusal of gun licence

By Anne Lucey

Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris is expected to act as a character witness for a former IRA member who is appealing a decision by Garda to refuse him a shotgun licence.

Former IRA member Angelo Fusco (59) is appealing the decision of a Co Kerry Garda Superintendent on the matter.

Fusco, of Knocknacaska, Kilflynn, Tralee, was accompanied to court in Co Kerry yesterday by former IRA gunrunner Mr Ferris.

The matter, which had been adjourned, came before Tralee District Court, and was set for hearing in what was expected to be a full contest.

At least four character witnesses were to be called, Fusco's solicitor Padraig O'Connell told Judge James O'Connor.

Fusco was one of eight men who broke out of Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast in 1981.

Days later he, along with two others, were convicted in their absence for their part in the murder of Captain Herbert Richard Westmacott. He was shot dead by an IRA unit in north Belfast in 1980, and was the highest-ranking member of the SAS killed in the Troubles.

In 2000 Fusco and a number of associates were given a special dispensation by the Queen to return to Northern Ireland without fear of prosecution.

After being told by a State solicitor the matter would take some hours, the judge said it would require a special day and adjourned the matter to a civil court day in October. There will be a full appeal against the decision Mr O'Connell stated.

Belfast Telegraph

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