Duffy 'to contest Euro poll'

COLIN Duffy, one of the dissident republicans charged with murdering two British soldiers in Antrim last month, will stand in June's European election, a prominent dissident republican group has confirmed.

Following a series of rumours, the Republican Network for Unity (RNU), an umbrella organisation representing a number of dissident republican groups, confirmed the leading Lurgan republican will stand for election.

Ciaran Cunningham, an RNU member from Belfast, said Duffy will stand as an independent candidate.

"Colin Duffy intends to stand as a candidate in the upcoming European elections," he said.

"He will be standing on an end-28-day-detention ticket and an anti-internment ticket. A steering committee has been set up to direct the election campaign and RNU fully endorses that committee."

However, the BBC reported that Mr Duffy's brother, Paul, said the family was "seriously considering" the idea but would not make a decision for about a week.

Duffy has been charged with the murders of Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, of Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, of London, who were gunned down as they collected pizzas outside Antrim's Massereene barracks on March 7.

Duffy has also been charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

In recent elections where dissident republicans have stood, candidates received few votes.