Northern Ireland

Colin Duffy among prisoners to face cell damage charges

Image caption Colin Duffy is among 11 prisoners charged with damaging cells in Maghaberry Prison

Eleven republican prisoners have been charged with causing criminal damage to their cells during an incident in Maghaberry Prison on 6 May this year.

They include prominent Lurgan republican Colin Duffy, 43, who is awaiting trial on charges of murdering two soldiers in March 2009.

The men are all being held as separated prisoners at the jail's Roe House wing.

They did not appear at Craigavon Magistrates Court but indicated they would contest the charges.

Also accused of causing damage in the incident are former Sinn Fein councillor Brendan McConville, 40, and John Paul Wootton, 20, who are charged with murdering Constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon on 9 March.

Contesting charges

Others facing criminal damage charges are Sean McConville, 28, from Lurgan; Belfast men Harry Fitzsimmons, 44, and Brendan Conway, 37; Mark McGuigan, 27, from Omagh; Damien McLaughlin, 35, from Dungannon; Joseph Barr, 25, from Strabane, and two men from the Republic of Ireland, Kevin Barry Nolan, 34, and Gerard McManus, 27.

At least five witnesses have been confirmed although a defence solicitor said "several other outstanding personnel within the prison" may be required to give evidence.

Deputy District Judge Amanda Brady noted that at least two days would be required for a contested hearing and adjourned the case until 19 October for a date to be fixed