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Co Armagh dissident suspect refused bail despite release of co-accused facing same charges


A Co Armagh woman charged with dissident terrorist offences has been refused bail despite her defence team arguing that a High Court judge had ordered the release of one of her co-accused who is facing the same charges.

Amanda ‘Mandy’ McCabe (50) from Ailsbury Gardens, Lurgan mounted the application after Mr Justice Colton granted bail for a co-accused having expressed grave concerns about the time she had spent in custody and called for intense scrutiny around the necessity of her continued detention.

However, Justice Coulton also explicitly cautioned against using his decision to grant bail for a co-accused as a precedent.

During a heated legal argument at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court, McCabe’s lawyer cited the decision to release Sharon Jordan, wife of self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army Council Chair, David Jordan, who is also remanded in custody on the same charges.

There are nine co-accused with McCabe, including both Jordans, along with Damien Joseph McLaughlin from Dungannon, Kevin Barry Murphy from Coalisland, Isaam Bassalat from Edinburgh, Shea Reynolds from Lurgan and Patrick McDaid, Joseph Barr and Gary Hayden from Derry/Londonderry.

The major covert surveillance operation conducted jointly by MI5 and PSNI recorded meetings held by alleged dissident republicans at a residence in Omagh

State-agent Dennis McFadden allegedly captured discussions on the IRA executive, recruitment, weaponry, an economic bombing campaign, close-quarter shootings of police officers and cyber-attacks.

At a previous hearing the prosecution noted David Jordan was allegedly recorded explaining the IRA constitution obliges him to “brief the others”.

During one meeting it is claimed he said: “Hypothetically, if someone can get us things for £45,000, I’m sure Mandy (McCabe, also known as Duffy) could get us £45,000.”

He also allegedly spoke of “torturing people if ordered”.

The majority of the defendants remain remanded in custody but some have been granted bail on very stringent terms.

At the most recent sitting McCabe’s lawyer argued that the case had undergone significant changes since her initial bail hearing in 2020.

He pointed to a higher surety being offered, surpassing that of her co-accused, who had been granted bail.

However prosecution counsel countered this emphasising that all bail risk factors remained pertinent to McCabe.

She referenced comments by Mr Justice O’Hara in a similar recent bail application who “underscored the heightened activity and danger associated with dissident Republicans”.

He further highlighted their “clear intent to engage in acts of violence, terror, and harm”, characterising McCabe’s role within the New IRA as “significant and sinister”.

The prosecution added that a prima facie case still exists, and voice attribution analysis is ongoing, which it is contended places McCabe in the recorded meetings.

In delivering his ruling, Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare held there had not been a significant change in circumstances warranting the bail application and reiterated Judge Colton’s, “explicit warning against using his decision as a precedent”.

Bail was refused and McCabe is scheduled to appear again by video-link later this month.

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