Northern Ireland

Alleged New IRA chief gets bail to attend grandchild's christening

David Jordan.
David Jordan.

AN alleged New IRA chief accused of plotting potential paramilitary offences is to be released from custody for his grandchild’s christening, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

David Jordan, 52, was granted compassionate bail to attend the church service in Co Tyrone on Sunday.

Jordan, of Cappagh Road in Dungannon, is among ten people facing prosecution following a major surveillance investigation mounted by police and MI5.

Codenamed Operation Arbacia, detectives secretly bugged meetings of the suspected New IRA leadership in February and July 2020.

Jordan allegedly addressed the gatherings at properties near Sixmilecross and Omagh, Co Tyrone as chair of the organisation’s Army Council.

Previous courts heard those in attendance discussed targets, weaponry, finances and recruitment, as well as the possibility of launching a hard economic bombing campaign and cyber-attacks within the UK.

They also explored the possibility of developing a relationship with a foreign regime hostile to the United Kingdom, it is claimed.

Prosecutors contend that everyone present were within the highest echelons of the New IRA’s strictures.

Jordan, who faces charges of directing terrorism, belonging to a proscribed organisation, and preparation of terrorist acts, has been detained for more than three years.

Although his wife and co-accused, 48-year-old Sharon Jordan, was granted bail in September, he failed in a new bid for full release last week.

Defence lawyers returned to Belfast Magistrates’ Court today to argue that he should be let out of prison temporarily for the christening.

Granting his compassionate application, the District Judge ordered that a £15,000 cash surety must be lodged as part of the release terms.

Jordan can only attend the church service and is to be accompanied by two solicitors from legal firm Phoenix Law at all times during the four-hour period spent outside HMP Maghaberry.

A further prohibition was imposed to prevent contact with any co-accused except for his wife.