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A BID to stop the prosecution of former IRA hunger striker Marian Price has been refused at Derry Magistrates Court. The 57-year-old is facing charges in connection with a dissident republican parade in the city in April last year.

Making an ‘ abuse of process ‘ application on Friday October 27th, solicitor Peter Corrigan argued that an undue delay in the case had prejudiced any chance of getting a fair trial. He said the proceedings against his client, who is charged under her married name of Marian McGlinchey, began on May 13 last year but on numerous occasions dates were not met by the prosecution. In May this year delays led District Judge Barney McElholm to refuse to return Price and three other accused to trial, only for the charges to be later reinstated. Mr Corrigan said all defendants had a right to a fair trial within a reasonable time and especially when the defendant was in custody. He claimed Price, of Stockman’s Avenue in Belfast, is prejudiced by the delays as she now cannot ” actively participate ” in any court proceedings. Citing reports by prison and UN doctors, he said the Old Bailey bomber could not give evidence as to why she was holding a piece of paper for a masked man at the rally.

Prosecution barrister Terence Mooney QC said the court had to distinguish between unfit to plead and fairness. He said some of the delays in the case could be attributed to what he described as ” protracted and pointless correspondence ” from the defence. Mr Mooney added that Price was in prison due to a decision of the secretary of state to revoke her early release licence and nothing to do with the PPS. District Judge Barney McElholm said that he had taken his decision in May not to return the four for trial ” with my eyes wide open “, knowing it could lead to further delay. He said Price’s condition was due to her reaction to being incarcerated for a length of time and while there were difficulties in the case, not least her inability to attend court, there had been no abuse of process. He set a date of November 21 for a preliminary inquiry against all four defendants. The other accused are Paddy McDaid (42) of Sackville Court, Frank Quigley (29) of Elmwood Road and Marvin Canning (50) of Glendara, all in Derry, who are charged in connection with managing and taking part in a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation on April 25 last year.




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