West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Fein slam PSNI after Easter lily charges amounts to nothing in court

Published: 27 January, 2015

Sinn Féin has slammed the PSNI over arrests and charges for two Republicans in relation to Easter lily distribution. The charges were thrown out against one and seen one given a discharge after conclusion of the case in Omagh within the past week. Last year the two Sinn Féin activists were arrested in Omagh whilst involved in distributing the Easter lily.

In December the charges against one of those involved was dropped at a court appearance in Omagh. At a subsequent court appearance last week another of those charged was served with a discharge.

Upon the conclusion of the court proceedings Sinn Féin councillor Barry McNally hit out at the PSNI and PPS for the arrest and pursuit for a prosecution against both men.

Speaking councillor McNally said:

"These two activists were arrested in a blaze of publicity last year just before the Easter period. After a court case lasting nearly a year the judge served a discharge to one of those before the court just last week. The other Republican had the charges against him thrown out of court when he appeared in December. The question must be asked of the PSNI why these men were arrested and charged when the charges clearly didn't stand up in court.

"This case bears striking similarities to an incident nearly two years ago when two local republicans found themselves before the court on similar spurious charges. The case ended with both men given a discharged after it was revealed that both men could legally only be fined 40 shillings. (equivalent to £2)

"This case, like ones previous, will not prevent republicans from promoting the Easter lily and remembering our Patriot Dead. However it leaves huge questions to answer from the PSNI and PPS as to why these charges are being pursued, given that, on a number of occasions now, it has amounted to nothing in the end. I fail to see how the public interest has been served in this case and has left a nothing but a huge public expense which will be picked up by the taxpayer.