A judge’s decision to grant compassionate bail to a woman accused of dissident terrorist activities to visit her daughter in hospital is to be appealed by the Public Prosecution Service.
Amanda McCabe (50) — also known as Duffy — was one of 10 people arrested following a joint PSNI/M5 surveillance operation involving secret service agent Dennis McFadden and she has been remanded in custody since her arrest.
An urgent application was made to allow McCabe from Ailsbury Gardens, Lurgan to be released for four hours to visit her daughter who has just given birth, which was followed by complications.
McCabe’s co-accused are David Jordan, Sharon Jordan, and Damien Joseph McLaughlin from Dungannon; Kevin Murphy from Coalisland; Shea Reynolds from Lurgan; and Patrick McDaid, Joseph Barr and Gary Hayden from Derry.
They face similar offences of IRA membership and directing terrorist activity between 2018 and 2020.
A further accused, Dr Isaam Bassalat (63) who has an address in Scotland, is accused of a series of offences including attending a meeting of the New IRA Executive in Tyrone as well as meeting the New IRA Chair and Chief of Staff in Brussels.
Covert recordings captured discussions on the IRA executive, recruitment, weaponry, an economic bombing campaign, close-quarter shootings of police officers and cyber-attacks.
A compassionate bail application was mounted at Dungannon Magistrates Court by McCabe’s defence lawyer who said this was on an emergency basis amid circumstances which were “deeply traumatic and disturbing.”
He explained McCabe’s daughter has recently given birth involving “huge complications” for her and the baby.
It was stressed McCabe was present for the births of her daughter’s three other children, so this was the first at which she was not in attendance, “in what was probably the most traumatic experience of her life”.
The defence added: “If that doesn’t meet the parameters of compassion, then respectfully what does?”
He outlined details of the mother and child’s current position, who both required significant medical intervention, although there has been some improvement.
“My client’s daughter seeks to have her mother with her for a very short time,” said the defence.
“It’s a four hour window …There’s absolutely no risk of absconding given the very short time frame and any risk of further offences is negligible.”
The court heard McCabe’s son is willing to put forward a £5,000 surety to guarantee her return.
Opposing the application a prosecution lawyer felt the threshold for compassionate bail was not reached and while she accepted hospital staff are willing to facilitate, risks could not be managed.
However Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare felt a short release was appropriate as this is, “a completely unique circumstance and worthy of compassion by the court”.
Terms include the lodgement of the £5,000 surety as well as chaperone details, the vehicle registration of their car and the route to be taken.
The prosecution gave notice of intention to appeal the decision at the High Court.