Duffy hearing set to be mammoth sitting

Damien Duffy. INLM28-007

Damien Duffy. INLM28-007

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The case against three members of the same family on terrorist charges has been adjourned for the second time in three days.

Two brothers and a cousin of prominent republican Colin Duffy are facing a preliminary enquiry at Craigavon Magistrates Court and will return to court on Monday morning.

The court has set aside two weeks to hear the Preliminary Enquiry (PE) in the case of Damien Daniel Duffy, originally from Lurgan but now with an address at Westclare Court, Dungannon, Paul John Duffy of Ailsbury Gardens, Lurgan and Shane Duffy whose address is subject to reporting restrictions.

Paul Duffy, aged 49, is charged with four counts of preparation of terrorist acts, conspiracy to cause an explosion and conspiracy to murder. He is further charged with directing a terrorist organisation.

His brother Damien, aged 45, is charged with two counts of preparation of terrorist acts, conspiracy to cause an explosion and conspiracy to murder.

Their cousin Shane, aged 44, is also charged with four counts of preparation of terrorist acts, conspiracy to cause an explosion and conspiracy to murder.

All three are further charged with recording or collecting information for terrorism.

The alleged offences happened at various times between 2009 and 2012.

The charges were brought following a major police investigation into dissident republican activity which was carried out in conjunction with MI5.

During a previous court hearing it was disclosed that the offences, stretching back to November 2009 relate to PSNI and prison officers’ movements in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas, their addresses and their routes to and from work.

Also at a previous hearing it was claimed that evidence in the case against the three members of the Duffy family runs into nine lever arch files.

Counsel for the prosecution also claimed at a previous court hearing that audio recordings showed the Kilmore Road and Cottage Road junction was to be used for a mortar bomb attack on security forces.

At Craigavon Magistrates Court Number 2 last Tuesday half the courtroom was sealed off to the public and press. The dock was masked by a barrier of green curtains to shield the identity of certain witnesses from the intelligence services.

The three defendants who are out on bail plus members of their families and friends had gathered at one side of the court for the hearing.

Two weeks had been set aside to hear the Preliminary Enquiry which was expected to hear testimony from a substantial number of witnesses in what would have been one of the longest preliminary enquiries in recent years.

The case was scheduled to begin this morning (Thursday) however after discussions was adjourned again until Monday at 11am.

The court is awaiting submissions from the Crown to explain the basis of the case and the judge will consider those submissions.