Two Londonderry men have admitted a terrorist-related offence linked to an Easter Rising commemoration in the City Cemetery which was addressed by a masked man.
Ciaran Anthony Boyle, 30, and 53-year-old Anthony Michael Lancaster were each charged with assisting in arranging or managing a meeting which they knew was to be addressed by a person who belonged or professed to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.
The charge against the pair was brought under the Terrorism Act 2000, and was initially denied by both men.
During the first day of the trial at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, a prosecuting barrister said the charge arose from an event in the City Cemetery on Easter Monday – April 9, 2012 – which was held by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
Judge Sandra Crawford, who was presiding over the non-jury Diplock trial, was told it was the Crown’s case that both Boyle and Lancaster assisted in the management of the meeting, which was addressed by a masked man who made a speech on behalf of ONH/the Real IRA.
Lancaster, from Circular Road in the Creggan area of Londonderry, was described in court as being the master of ceremonies at the event while co-accused Boyle, from The Meadows, is accused of raising and lowering the Irish flag.
As the trial was due to enter its second day, the legal teams for both men asked for time to consult with their clients.
The two defence barristers acting on behalf of the pair then asked that they be rearraigned on the single charge.
When the charge was put to both Boyle and Lancaster, they each replied ‘guilty’.
Judge Crawford granted a request for both men to be released on continuing bail, and they will be sentenced at the same court on October 15.