Murder accused has communion bail extended

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An alleged senior dissident republican charged with trying to murder police officers can be released from custody to attend his child’s first communion, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Weir extended Henry Fitzsimons’ temporary compassionate bail after the accused gave a personal pledge to honour all conditions.

Fitzsimons, 46, faces a series of terrorist charges linked to a gun attack on a police convoy in north Belfast back in December 2013.

The prosecution opposed bail but Mr Justice Weir was told Fitzsimons got out for a similar event last year and abided by all conditions.

He asked the accused: “Do you promise me on your own word that if you’re released on bail in the same way you will honour bail?”

Fitzsimons, who appeared by prison video link, replied: “I will, one hundred percent.”

Following that assurance the judge told him: “You can go to your family gathering, but be back by five o’clock. Have a nice day.”