Mairead Farrell’s brother in Newry bomb getaway charge

Emma Taylor Posted by
Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Ciaran Farrell, the brother of Mairead Farrell who was shot by the SAS in Gabraltar in 1988, has pleaded guilty to providing a Renault Laguna as a getaway vehicle for those guilty of bombing the Newry Courthouse in Febuary 2010.

Farrell had initally stated that he had sold the car to two travellers two months previous to the event and had no futher information on the vehicle. Prosecuting QC Gordon Kerr informed the court that once charged with involvement in the bombing, the defendant Farrell then provided a written statement with an alternative account of the events.

In the statement Farrell alluded that, due to the circumstances that surrounded the death of his sister, he had been placed under pressure in order to partake in actions that would benefit “people associated with his sister and the republican movement”. Those actions  included, using his work as a mechanic, as a means to fix and sell cost price vehicles to those “who were disenchanted with the peace process and who held extreme republican views.”

In carrying out this activity Farrell had been contacted on Saturday 2oth of Feburary and told to provide a vehicle to a person whose identy would have indicated that there was going to be a strong possiblity of terrorist activity. The defendant claimed however, that “at no time did he contemplate that the car would be used for any particular unlawful type of activity” but the prosceutor, Kerr indicated that this guilty plea “acknowledges that he must have been aware that a terrorist attack must have been likely.”

Speaking on behalf of the defendant, QC Eugene Grant stated that “by virtue of being the brother of Mairead Farrell lead to him becoming vulnerable to what we would submit to the court was exploitation, abuse and threats.” The defence futher added that while Farrell had “totally loved and cherished the memory of my late sister…I have no knowledge, no interest, no involvement nor any desire to contribute directly or indirectly in anyway to terrorism or those involved.”

Sentencing has been adjourned until Tuesday as the Recorder of Belfast Judge Tom Burgess, stated he wanted to fully assess the case as it had been put forward on both times, and added that his decision to grant bail to the defendant did not “tie my hands as to the eventual disposal.”

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