Dissident republican activist denies encouraging support for IRA

Damien 'Dee' Fennell

Damien 'Dee' Fennell

Dissident republican activist Damien ‘Dee’ Fennell on Thursday denied three charges levelled against him including encouraging support for the IRA.

Fennell, from Torrens Avenue in Belfast, is to stand trial on three charges arising from a speech he gave last Easter at a graveyard in Lurgan during a 1916 commemmoration event.

The 34-year-old, who refused to stand in the dock of Belfast Crown Court when the charges were being put to him, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all three charges.

Fennell has been accused of encouraging acts of terrorism, inviting support for the IRA and addressing a meeting to encourage support for the IRA.

All three offences are dated April 5, 2015 and all fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The court heard the trial, which is due to start in June, will last an estimated two days.

Fennell was released on continuing bail ahead of his trial.