Pádraic Wilson released on bail

Published Tuesday, 06 November 2012
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Senior republican Pádraic Wilson has been released on bail at Belfast High Court.

Pádraic Wilson released on bail
Padraic Wilson, pictured at his court appearance on Friday. (© Pacemaker)

Wilson, 53, of Hamill Park, Andersonstown, Belfast, had been remanded in custody on Friday charged with IRA membership and two counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for the outlawed grouping. He denies the charges.

He was arrested by police investigating the murder of Robert McCartney in 2005.

The 33-year-old father of two, from the Short Strand in east Belfast, is believed to have been in an argument with republicans before he was knifed and beaten outside Magennis's bar in the city centre in January 2005.

Statements from Mr McCartney's sisters alleged Wilson met with them at least twice, and he had claimed to be a member of the Provisional IRA's senior council.

All of the alleged offences were committed within two months of Mr McCartney's death.

The High Court heard on Tuesday from Sinn Féin's South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin.

He said that Wilson had made a valuable and strategic contribution in changing attitudes within republican circles to policing and the criminal justice system.

Mr Justice Horner agreed that there were no grounds to suggest that Wilson would interfere with witnesses and he released him on bail.

His release comes just one day after hundreds of Sinn Féin members staged a protest against Wilson being charged outside the PSNI headquarters at Knock.

© UTV News
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4 Comments
S.B. in Belfast wrote (664 days ago):
Of course this was a political arrest but Sinn Fein's double standards and hissy fit are hilarious. Where have Sinn Fein been the past decade as Republicans have been interned and locked up by elements within the British State opposed to change? They have been hiding up at Stormont and totally detached from reality but suddenly when one of their own is affected they throw a strop. You have only have to look at the arrests and harrassment of Republicans outside the Sinn Fein cosy club; the total difference in PSNI policing of Nationalist and Loyalist districts; the one sided reams of photo fits published in the media and the dozens of young Catholics jailed for social unrest in places like Ardoyne to know that there is still political policing in the North. It's obvious that there are still sinister secretive elements within the British Establishment who want a return to a Unionist state and it's just a pity it took Sinn Fein quite a while to wake up and smell the coffee. Welcome to the real world now; nothing has changed for Nationalists and Republicans in the North.
ha in Dublin wrote (664 days ago):
thanks to sinn fein
joe in belfast wrote (664 days ago):
sf/pira actions show just how one sided the so called peace process is, we can have enquiries ref the british and loyalists. yet when a convicted terrorist is put on remand for ira membership, one protest gets him out, weak government, police etc etc
stephen in belfast wrote (664 days ago):
so the justice system caves into demands and protests by sinn fein,dear me what a country we live in.
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