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Judge refuses to return illegal demo accused for trial
10 May 2012 --
A judge has refused to return four people for trial accused of managing an
illegal demonstration at Derry City Cemetery.
Patrick McDaid, Marian Price,
Marvin Canning and Frank Quigley had been charged in connection with an annual dissident republican commemoration
on April 25, 2011.
Derry Magistrates Court heard that preliminary enquiry papers were not ready and
had not been served on the defendants.
It was also revealed that Price is unfit to travel to court or to appear via
A prosecution barrister said the PE papers were ready apart from the signature
of the Director of Public Prosecutions to authorise a non-jury trial.
She applied to the court to adjourn the case for a further two weeks.
Defence solicitor David Heraghty, representing Canning and Price, said the PE
had been fixed for “quite some time” and the prosecution had “ample opportunity”
to get the papers ready.
He revealed that Price is suffering from severe depression “in connection with
her incarceration” and there is “no realistic prospect” of her being fit to
attend court in a couple of weeks.
Quigley’s defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels said the PPS should not use the
deterioration of Price’s health to “deflect” from the fact that papers are not
He said the evidence against his client had not changed since June last year.
Mr Shiels made an application for the judge to refuse to return Quigley for
Paddy MacDermott, acting for McDaid, made a similar application.
District Judge Barney McElholm said the illness of Price should not delay the
case against the other defendants.
He added that he had directed the PE to take place today and added: “ IF I don’t
use what teeth I have, I may as well let the prosecution dictate the pace and
that is not a good situation.”
Mr McElholm said the defendants are “entitled to a fair trial wihin a reasonable
period of time “.
Refusing to return the defendants for trial, Mr McElholm said: “I will not
consent to any further adjournments of this matter.
There is no evidence before me on which I can return them for trial.”