Prominent republican charged with attempted murder of Belfast police


The prominent Irish republican Colin Duffy has been charged with the attempted murder of police officers in north .

His supporters later clashed with police outside Belfast magistrates court, where Duffy and two other men were remanded in custody.

Duffy, 47, from Lurgan in Co Armagh, was also accused of membership of the IRA and conspiring with the other defendants, Alex McCrory and Henry Fitzsimmons, to possess firearms and explosives with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.

A court service statement charged that Duffy had, between 1 January and 16 December, conspired with McCrory, Fitzsimmons and unknown others "to murder members of the security forces".

Only the IRA membership charge was read out in open court.

McCrory, 52, from Belfast, was accused of conspiring to murder members of the security forces in their vehicles on Crumlin Road, conspiracy to possess explosives and firearms and belonging to the IRA.

Fitzsimmons, 46, of no fixed address, was charged with possession of firearms with intent, attempting to murder the officers on Crumlin Road, belonging to the IRA and conspiracy with the other two accused to possess firearms and explosives.

Only the possession of firearms charges were read out in court.

The accused were remanded in custody to Maghaberry high-security prison to reappear before the court via video link on 14 January.

Two people were arrested during the clashes outside the courthouse.