‘Derry 4’ trial collapses
‘Derry 4’ trial collapses

The trial of four Derry City men accused of membership of the ‘Real IRA’ collapsed dramatically at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Today prosecuting counsel Mr Patrick Marrinan SC told the three judge non-jury court that his instructions were to enter a nolle prosequi at this stage of the trial. This means that the State is not proceeding with the prosecution.

The four Derry City men are Gary Donnelly, Michael Gallagher, Martin Francis O’Neill and Patrick John McDaid. They had all entered a plea of not guilty.

The court heard during the trial that the four men were arrested the day after a Real IRA press conference which was filmed by the BBC in the Creggan area of the city.

The juryless Special Criminal Court normally requires only the evidence of a senior member of the Garda police to record a guilty verdict for IRA membership.

The State’s decision came after the court ruled that the initial detention of the four men when their car was stopped by a Garda Sergeant at Bridgend in County Donegal was unlawful and their subsequent arrest was therefore also unlawful.

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