Easter speech case for trial

Pacemaker Press 10/3/2016
Damien 'Dee' Fennell leaves Laganside Court on Thursday.  The prominent dissident republican activist is on charges relating to a speech he gave during a 1916 commemoration event at St Colman's graveyard in Lurgan, County Armagh on Easter Sunday.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 10/3/2016 Damien 'Dee' Fennell leaves Laganside Court on Thursday. The prominent dissident republican activist is on charges relating to a speech he gave during a 1916 commemoration event at St Colman's graveyard in Lurgan, County Armagh on Easter Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A dissident republican activist has denied a charge of encouraging support for the IRA.

Damien ‘Dee’ Fennell, whose address weas given to the court as Torrens Avenue, Belfast, is to stand trial on three charges arising from a speech he gave last Easter at a graveyard in Lurgan during a 1916 Commemoration event.

The 34-year old, who refused to stand in the dock of Belfast Crown Court during the hearing on Thursday (March 10), pleaded not guilty to encouraging acts of terrorism, inviting support for the IRA and addressing a meeting to encourage support for the IRA.

All three offences are dated April 5, 2015, and fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The court heard that the trial, which is scheduled to start in June, would last two days.

Fennell was released on continuing bail, with no onjections raised by the Crown.

The defendant is well-known as a spokesman for the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, which opposes Orange Order marches in north Belfast.