Three men from the Republic of Ireland have appeared in court, accused of taking part in an illegal republican parade in Lurgan.
The three men, two from Cork and one from Dublin, were also jointly charged with having or carrying clothing which “gave rise to the suspicion they were member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.”
Standing side by side in the dock at Craigavon Magistrates Court, 48-year-old Ray Mallon, Sean Paul McCarthy (52) and 22-year-old Roy Patrick Shaw all confirmed they understood the two charges they each face.
The court has previously heard there could be as many as 70 people prosecuted for taking part in an illegal republican parade on May 28 this year.
The three defendants and a number of other men already before the court, were amongst several people arrested following a parade by Republican Sinn Fein in Lurgan’s Kilwilkie estate and the official opening of a memorial garden to 1916.
No facts were opened in court on Friday but a female detective said she believed she could connect all three to the offences while a prosecuting lawyer asked the case to be adjourned to tie in with other cases.
While Dubliner Mallon, from Church Road, McCarthy, from Ashgrove Close, Carragine and Shaw, from Donnybrook, both in Cork, had to appear two other defendants, a youth who can’t be identified and 18-year-old Seamus Douglas, had been excused from attending.
The PPS lawyer confirmed District Judge Peter King’s query if all these cases were connected with be judge commenting that with so many defendants, the file “will be trundling along”.
Previously two other men, Kevin Kavanagh (67) from Carleys Bridge in Enniscorthy and Seamus Raymond Byrne (51), The Orchard, Ardee were both charged with taking part in an un-notified public procession on May 28 this year.
The court has also heard that given the potential for so many defendants being prosecuted, the trial may be transferred to Belfast.
With potentially 70 defendants to stand accused, that would make it the largest prosecution in NI legal history.
Releasing all three on bail, Judge King adjourned the case until December 9 and like their co-accused, excused them from attending.