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Man allegedly involved in Easter Rising parade freed on bail

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A Lurgan man alleged to have been involved in an Easter Rising commemorative procession has been granted bail.

Court heard the 49-year-old had been in custody since the middle of August after breaching previous bail conditions.

Martin Stephen Conlon, of Tarry Drive, appeared charged with taking part in an un-notified public procession and wearing clothing which aroused suspicion he was a member of a proscribed organisation.

The defendant appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday, via video link from Maghaberry, for the purpose of a bail application.

Court heard that charges in the case were hoped to be settled for November 2.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny informed the court that Conlon had been on remand for these offences since Easter Monday and that all co-accused save for one were currently on bail.

It was heard that trial for this case was due to take part on a special day over the Christmas or New Year period given the number of defendants and witnesses.

Prosecution stated that a previous bail which had been granted was breached by the defendant who spoke to one of the co-accused in the case.

Mr Lunny said that Conlon had “failing health” and suffered from a lung disease, which he could not name.

He added that given the time the defendant had spent in custody he had concerns that it may end up being in excess of what he would likely be sentenced to.

Bail was objected to over the risk of reoffending and further association with the co-accused.

It was also heard that police wished for Conlon to be fitted with an electronic tag which he had “flatly refused” at an earlier bail application at the High Court.

Mr Lunny raised that point that none of the other accused in this case currently had an electronic tag as part of their bail.

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “This has become a somewhat drawn-out affair and it is clear that it will be dealt with as a summary offence,

“In the balance of fairness and proportionality, I have to look at the time served along with the sentence which he is likely to receive given the maximum penalties”.

Judge Copeland granted bail to Conlon saying he was a “worthy candidate given that all other co-accused are on bail”.

The defendant was released on his own bail of £500.

Conditions included; to reside at an address approved by police, not to be within 200 metres of an un-notified procession and not to associate with the co-accused.

A curfew between the hours of 10pm and 7 am was also imposed.

The case will return on November 2.

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