Northern Ireland news

Inquest into police station death of John Brady to start in November

 John Brady died in a police station in 2009
Rebecca Black, Press Association

The inquest into the death of a dissident republican in police custody will start in November, a coroner has said.

Real IRA man John Brady (40) was found dead at Strand Road police station in Derry in October 2009.

The case is shrouded in controversy over allegations that two officers from the PSNI C3 unit - formerly known as Special Branch - visited the veteran republican three times before his death.

Rumours of C3 involvement have led to speculation that Mr Brady may have been subjected to a bid to turn him into an informer before he hanged himself in a consultation room.

The Police Ombudsman examined these claims and found no evidence to support them.

The ombudsman said two intelligence officers did attempt to gain access to Mr Brady but were turned away by custody staff - a finding investigators said was substantiated by CCTV.

This footage will play a key part in the inquest into Brady's death.

A number of preliminary hearings have taken place over recent years.

At the latest hearing in Belfast today, coroner Joe McCrisken said the inquest will start on November 5 as planned.

"I think I said in reasonably robust terms on the last occasion, we start on the 5th of November," he said.

"We managed to get a court in Londonderry, which is extremely difficult, so we are not moving."

Today's hearing was also told that an "extensive" witness list is being finalised.

Another preliminary hearing is set to take place on September 26.

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