Published Tuesday, 03 December 2013
The accused are suspected of being past PIRA members. (© UTV)
Two west Belfast women were among the past suspected PIRA members to appear before the city's Crown Court for arraignment on Tuesday, on a number of charges including membership, intimidation and organising, arranging, or speaking at a terrorist meeting.
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland said while a trial date had been fixed for early in the New Year, he felt it would be too optimistic to expect it to be met.
The charges allegedly concern several meetings held by PIRA in the late 1990s and 2000.
Facing the most charges was 56-year-old Briege Wright from Glassmullin Gardens. On arraignment she pleaded not guilty to six charges including being or professing to be a member of the Provisional IRA between September 1999 and September 2000.
She was also charged with intimidation and four counts of arranging or assisting "in the arrangement or management of, or addressed a meeting of three or more people, knowing that the meeting was to support a proscribed organisation, further the activities of a proscribed organisation, or was to be addressed by a person belonging or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely, the Provisional Irish Republican Army" between a variety of dates from September 1999 to October 2000.
Two of her co-accused - 63-year-old Agnes McCrory from Dermott Hill Road and 56-year-old James Gerard Seamus Finucane of Hawthorn Hill, Hannastown - denied five similar charges of PIRA membership and arranging or assisting in meeting between the same dates.
The fourth accused was 49-year-old Martin Edward Morris, with an address in Wellback Road, in London, who denied a single charge of membership, of professing to be a member of the Provisional IRA between August 1977 and June 2000.
However, the first named accused, 54-year-old Padraic Conner Wilson, whose address was given as c/o the Falls Road, Sinn Fein Advice Centre, pleaded not guilty to two charges of arranging or assisting two supposed PIRA meetings in August and September 2000.
© UTV News