Northern Ireland

Derry dissident refused bail variation to meet TD

Thomas Ashe Mellon is charged with breaching anti-terrorism legislation

Thomas Ashe Mellon
Thomas Ashe Mellon

A Derry dissident republican has been refused a bail variation to allow him to go to Portlaoise Prison in the Republic and meet a TD.

Thomas Ashe Mellon (48) of Rathmore Road in Derry is on bail charged with breaching anti-terrorism legislation by crossing the border at Belleek instead of at Newry in November last year.

At Monday’s sitting of Derry Magistrates Court, Mellon’s solicitor Paddy MacDermott asked for his bail to be varied to allow him to travel to Portlaoise Prison on May 27 and then to attend a meeting with Eamonn O’Cuiv a TD to discuss prisoner issues.

Mr MacDermott said that his client had previously been given permission to attend a meeting with the TD but cancelled it when police objected to the presence of someone convicted of terrorist related offences.

A police officer objected to the bail variation and said it was not clear what role Mellon would play and why he had to attend the meeting.

The officer said that if Mellon was outside the jurisdiction it would be difficult to police any bail conditions.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that it was necessary “to balance these things” but added it was not clear who Mellon would be meeting in Portlaoise Prison and that could cause problems.

The bail variation was refused and Mr MacDermott indicated he would be applying to the High Court.

Mellon will appear again on June 13.