Northern Ireland

Dee Fennell granted bail variation for holiday

Dee Fennell Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Damien 'Dee' Fennell was charged over an Easter Sunday speech at a graveyard in Lurgan

A prominent dissident republican facing trial over charges of encouraging terrorism has had his bail conditions changed so he can go on holiday.

Damien 'Dee' Fennell made an application to Belfast Crown Court to amend his conditions so he could go to Co Donegal for a week.

The 34-year-old faces three charges for a speech he gave during an Easter Rising commemoration event last year.

Mr Fennell has denied the charges. He is due to go on trial later this year.

He was charged with encouraging acts of terrorism, inviting support for the IRA and addressing a meeting to encourage support for the IRA after speaking at the event in Lurgan, County Armagh.

His lawyer pointed out that Mr Fennell had been on bail "for a significant period without breaching his conditions" and that his client would adhere to any requirements, such as reporting to the Gardaí (Irish police).

"He is not going to abscond," said a defence lawyer.

The judge granted the bail variation if a cash surety of £2,000 was lodged.

He also ordered Mr Fennell, of Torrens Avenue, Belfast, to report to Gardaí in Donegal twice a week and said both the house number and phone number of his accommodation should be provided to police.

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