Northern Ireland

DPP says Price court ruling 'is by no means the end'

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Barra McGrory, has insisted that a case against Marian Price and three others will proceed despite a ruling.

He made the statement after a judge dismissed charges against the veteran republican and three men relating to an Easter Rising commemoration last year.

The judge threw out the case on Thursday when it emerged that court papers for the hearing were not ready.

Mr McGrory insisted the papers were ready to go to defence solicitors.

Ms Price - who is also known by her married name, Marian McGlinchey - has been in custody in since May 2011.

She had been charged alongside the three men in connection with a demonstration in a cemetery in Londonderry last year during which a masked man made threats against the police.

'Terrorism'

At a preliminary hearing at Londonderry Magistrates Court on Thursday, District Judge Barney McElholm said there was no evidence before him and dismissed the charges.

Speaking to reporters at his office on Friday afternoon, Mr McGrory said: "These are very particular offences under complex terrorism legislation which required the personal consent of the director before they can proceed and there were specific matters which were under consideration in that regard."

The DPP insisted that the ruling was "by no means the end of the matter" and said the case would be "recommenced in another way".

"This case will proceed, perhaps a little bit later now than would have been case, but for these events," he said.

Image caption The DPP, Barra McGrory, insisted the case would proceed "in another way"

Mr McGrory also explained that the legal representatives of one of the accused wrote to the court and to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to say that they did not want the case to proceed on Thursday.

He said the defence had requested that the court listing be downgraded to a "mention hearing only".

Ms Price was said to be too ill to attend the hearing.

Custody

She had been charged along with Patrick McDaid, of Beechwood Avenue, Frank Quigley of Elmwood Road and Marvin Canning of Glendara, all from Derry.

Mr Canning is a brother-in-law of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

During Thurday's hearing, the judge said three men could be released from custody but added that Ms Price's case was slightly different.

She remains in custody charged in connection with the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks.

She denies providing property for the purposes of terrorism, a charge related to the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at Massereene barracks in March 2009.

Ms Price was jailed for the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her release from prison on licence almost a year ago.

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