Man accused over illegal republican parade challenges bail terms

A man charged with taking part in an illegal republican parade claims a ban on contacting co-accused breaches his human rights, the High Court has heard.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 4:29 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 4:34 pm

Martin Conlon’s lawyer also said he “lives in fear” of contravening his bail terms by unwittingly bumping into one of the others.

Conlon, 49, faces charges over an Easter commemoration parade held in Lurgan, Co Armagh on March 31.

Police arrested a number of men dressed in suspected paramilitary-style clothing at Levin Road in the town.

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Conlon, of Tarry Drive in Lurgan, is charged with taking part in an unnotified public procession.

He faces a second count of wearing clothing as a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.

Prosecution barrister Robin Steer claimed the items involved a paramilitary-style uniform of green jumpers, a mesh scarf and beret.

Conlon is not accused of belonging to any outlawed grouping.

In April he was granted bail along with five co-defendants on conditions which included a curfew and having no contact with each other.

His legal team returned to court in a bid to have those terms varied.

A defence lawyer said Conlon lives 150 yards from one of the others charged with the same offences.

“He lives in fear that he will accidentally bump into the co-accused and be arrested,” counsel argued.

“He contends that the condition breaches his Article 11 right to freedom of association.”

Lord Justice Treacy heard Conlon is a member of Republican Sinn Fein – a political and non-proscribed organisation which meets to discuss ongoing social issues.

The judge agreed to lift the curfew condition.

But dismissing the contact application on a without prejudice basis, he told the defence to draft further written arguments on the point before returning with any fresh legal bid.