Declan Duffy's early release licence suspended

Former INLA prisoner Declan Duffy's early release licence has been suspended 
Connla Young

A FORMER INLA man convicted of killing a British soldier has had his early release licence suspended after he was arrested in the Republic.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has confirmed that former Under Secretary of State Ben Wallace suspended Declan Duffy’s early release licence last year.

It has also emerged that a European Arrest Warrant was issued for Duffy’s extradition to the north last September.

His early release licence was suspended after he was charged with false imprisonment and violent disorder linked to an incident alleged to have taken place in the Saggart area of Dublin in December 2015.

He has been held in remand in a Cloverhill Prison since then and is expected to go on trial at Dublin’s Special Criminal Court later this year.

A spokeswoman for the NIO said on Friday night that the case “will now be reviewed by the Independent Sentence Review Commissioners who will determine whether to revoke or reinstate his licence”.

Originally from Armagh City, Duffy was convicted of killing British soldier Sergeant Michael Newman in Derby in April 1992.

The 34-year-old year-old soldier was shot in the head as he left the British army recruitment centre where he worked.

Duffy was convicted of the killing in 2010 but was later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

His solicitor Ciarán Mulholland voiced concerns about the decision to extradite his client before his latest case has been dealt with.

“The decision of the UK authorities to seek a warrant for Mr Duffy’s extradition from Dublin at this time is not only prejudicial, it is totally unreasonable and discriminatory,” he dsof.

Mr Mulholland believes said his client’s case is unusual “whereby Mr Duffy is before the courts in the south and sought in the north in respect to the same events,” he said.

“There are now three separate proceedings; the criminal proceedings in Dublin, the extradition case and the sentencing review commissioners hearing.

A spokeswoman for the NIO said Mr Wallace revoked Duffy’s early release licence “on the basis of information presented to him indicating that he had breached the conditions attached to his licence, including the condition that he must not become a danger to the public.

“Decisions on licence suspension are made on their own merits and are separate to any criminal proceedings against an individual,” she said.

A spokesman for the PSNI confirmed the European Arrest Warrant has been issued.

With a long paramilitary career, Duffy is believed to have joined the INLA in the 1980s.

He was released from prison in 2007 after serving nine years of his part in a violent fight between members of the INLA and criminal gang members in Dublin in 1999 during which west Belfast republican Patrick Campbell (22) was hacked with a machete and later died.

In 2009 he admitted membership of the INLA but at the same time publicly disassociated himself from the paramilitary group.

He was sentenced to serve four years in Portlaoise Prison, County Laois, before he was eventually extradited to England where he pleaded guilty to killing Mr Newman.


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