Hardline anti-Orange campaigner released in street murder probe

Damien 'Dee' Fennell
Damien 'Dee' Fennell

A well-known republican spokesman who was questioned by detectives over a gun murder of Michael McGibbon has been released.

Dee Fennell, 34, is a spokesman for the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC).

Mr Fennell had said in 2015 at an Easter Rising commemoration in Lurgan that “armed struggle must be a contributory factor to a wider struggle” and that it remains a “legitimate act”.

He was later charged over the speech.

He has been on bail since last June.

He has pleaded not guilty to encouraging acts of terrorism, inviting support for the IRA and addressing a meeting to encourage support for the IRA.

GARC exists largely to campaign against Orange parades in the north Belfast area.

He was arrested on Sunday, and by early evening on Monday he had been released without charge.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said those who knew who killed Mr McGibbon had a responsibility to come forward.

“Once again a family has been plunged into mourning following a despicable murder,” he said.

“There are people out there who know who murdered Michael McGibbon and society demands that they speak out. There are no excuses for holding back otherwise the murderers will be free to inflict more pain in the future.

“I offer my deepest sympathies to Mrs McGibbon, their children and the wider family circle.”