10 May 2012

Terrorist charges have been dismissed against four prominent republicans, including Marian Price, over an Easter commemoration parade in Derry.

They were all charged in connection with a demonstration last year in the City Cemetery during which a masked man made threats against the PSNI.

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

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

Price was due to appear at Derry Magistrates Court alongside Patrick McDaid, of Beechwood Avenue, Frank Quigley of Elmwood Road and Marvin Canning of Glendara.

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

After being told that preliminary inquiry papers were still not ready, District Judge Barney McElholm released her three co-accused as there was no evidence before him.

He said everyone was entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time and he had seen cases involving complicated forensics which had taken less time than this.

A prosecution barrister requested a two-week adjournment to allow the papers to be finalised but the judge said he would not allow any further adjournments.

The judge said that while Price’s case was slightly different, the three men could be released from custody.

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.

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.

Price’s lawyer said a new bid to free her would be made. He claimed the case against her over the Derry incident had been “a central plank” in Mr Patterson’s decision.