Northern Ireland

Five IRA accused can be named - judge

Padraic Wilson
Image caption Padraic Wilson was the leader of the IRA in the Maze Prison in the late 1990s

A judge has lifted a ban on naming five people facing charges of membership of the IRA and other offences from more than a decade ago.

They include Seamus Finucane, a Sinn Fein member and brother of the murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The BBC had challenged the ban.

The BBC cannot reveal full details of the charges in the case - but can reveal the names of those involved after reporting restrictions were lifted.

Mr Finucane, 55, is a member of Sinn Fein and a community worker in west Belfast.

The others include 53-year-old Padraic Wilson, who was the leader of the IRA in the Maze prison in the late 1990s and is currently Sinn Fein's director of international affairs.

Both men are facing charges of IRA membership and arranging, addressing or assisting in the management of an IRA meeting.

Another man, 48-year-old Martin Edward Morris, with an address in London, is also charged with membership of the IRA.

Two Belfast women are also facing charges.

Agnes McCrory, 72, from Dermot Hill Road, and 55-year-old Briege Wright from Glassmullin Gardens, are accused of membership of the IRA, and arranging, addressing or assisting in the management of an IRA meeting.

The two women and Mr Finucane are also charged accused of unlawfully forcing a person who cannot be identified to co-operate with an IRA investigation.

Lifting the restrictions, district judge Fiona Bagnall agreed with the BBC's argument that open justice was a cornerstone of the criminal judicial system.