Northern Ireland news

Derry republican Tony Taylor released from prison

Tony Taylor pictured with family members in Derry last night after he was released from prison yesterday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.
Connla Young and Seamus McKinney

Derry republican Tony Taylor has said he is “happy to be out” after spending almost 1,000 days behind bars.

The 50-year-old was met by family members after being released from Maghaberry Prison yesterday evening.

Shortly after arriving back in Derry last night he made his way to the home of his elderly parents in the Creggan estate.

He had been held in prison since March 2016 after his early release licence was revoked by then secretary of state Theresa Villiers.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 1994 for IRA activity and again for three years in 2011 for possession of a rifle.

A campaign was later launched to highlight his case with supporters claiming he was the victim of internment.

It is understood his release has been directed by parole commissioners.

Mr Taylor's father Willie wrote to Secretary of State Karen Bradley appealing for his son's release earlier this month.

Mr Taylor last night said he was unable to speak about his imprisonment due to conditions imposed on him as part of his release.

However, he did say “I am happy to be out”.

His wife Lorraine last night said that although she is “delighted” to have her husband home, she is still angry about his detention.

“I am still very angry because we were put through this process for two and a half years for no reason really,” she said.

“I think if they had any evidence on my husband they wouldn't think twice about putting him through the courts.”

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