Belfast Telegraph

Four are accused of funding IRA group

By Maureen Coleman
25 September 2004

Four people accused of helping to finance a republican group have been returned to Belfast Crown Court for trial.

The four - Maria Mercia Brogan (29), of Ardboe Road, Coagh, Cookstown; Sean Burns (28), of Clonard Place, Belfast; Patricia O'Kane (28), of Hillside Avenue, Dunloy and Lawrence Francis Claxton (41), of Moyard Crescent, Belfast - stand accused of making funds available to the IRA for the purchase of firearms, ammunition and other properties.

All four deny the charges, alleged to have taken place between January 1, 1999, and July 31, 1999. During a preliminary enquiry at Laganside Magistrates Court yesterday, defence counsel expressed concerns at the "inordinate delay" from when the defendants were first arrested and charged to the present date.

Brogan's counsel submitted that a fair hearing would not be possible due to the time lapse.

He also said that the Crown had not offered a reasonable explanation for the delay.

Counsel for Burns and O'Kane made similar submissions.

However, Resident Magistrate Des Perry said he did not agree that the delay was "inordinate" and said he did not see any prejudice arising.

He said much of the case would depend on documentary evidence and that the charges related to a "substantial transfer of funds".

Mr Perry said he believed there was a case to answer against each defendant.

Brogan, Burns and O'Kane were remanded on bail while Claxton was remanded in custody to await a date for trial.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?