Northern Ireland

Man accused of trying to kill republican Bobby Tohill

A man has appeared in court accused of trying to kill prominent republican Bobby Tohill in a knife attack in west Belfast.

Thomas Valliday, 57, is charged with attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent over an alleged multiple stabbing on Tuesday.

Four people were hurt, including Mr Tohill, who suffered neck wounds, a man, a woman and a police officer.

Mr Valliday, of Clonard Place, Belfast, is also accused of having a knife.

He was released on bail but banned from entering west Belfast.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Magistrates Court on Thursday that there were serious concerns about possible re-offending.

"It appears that the accused is on some sort of medication. That, connected with alcohol, appears to have been a trigger for these events," he said.

"During interview he told police he had absolutely no recollection of what had happened in relation to all matters."

Fears were also expressed about potential interference with a witness who lives close to Mr Valliday.

A defence solicitor disputed the strength of the allegations against his client.

"There are a litany of gaps and inconsistencies in the case," he said, adding that Mr Valliday is due to see a neurologist about black-outs.

Bail was granted. District Judge Ken Nixon imposed a night-time curfew and directed Mr Valliday to report to police daily. He also said he should have no contact with any witnesses in the case.

Mr Valliday is due to appear again before the court next week.