Former charity director among those charged over alleged illegal parade in Lurgan

Damien Harte.
Damien Harte.

A former Lurgan charity director was among three men who appeared in court today (Friday, April 27) on charges arising from an alleged illegal republican parade.

Damien Harte (44), a former director with Growth for Adolescents & Providing Support refused to stand in the dock when charged.

In the very background is Christopher Hamill. To the right is Declan McCrory and in the foreground is another one of the unidentified colour party.

In the very background is Christopher Hamill. To the right is Declan McCrory and in the foreground is another one of the unidentified colour party.

He is also a former Workers Party election candidate

Also appearing were Declan McCrory (47) and Sean Pearson (34) who also refused to stand in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court, choosing instead to sit side by side with Harte.

Win a heavy police presence at the Court, the trio also refused to confirm whether they understood the charges against them but their solicitors did.

McCrory, from the Aghaboy Road in Omagh and Pearson are accused of taking part in an unnotified parade and wearing military style clothing “giving rise to a suspicion that he was a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation” on 31 March this year.

Another of the unidentified colour party.

Another of the unidentified colour party.

Pearson, from Culmore Park, also in Omagh and Harte, of no fixed address, face further charges of assaulting and resisting police on the same date.

The charges arise following disturbances at a parade in the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan and giving evidence to the Court, a police officer said he believed he could connect the three men to the charges.

Freed on continuing bail, the three were ordered to appear again on 8 June.

Six other men, accused of being the “colour party” at the parade, appeared in the same dock a short time later.

Sean Pearson (on the left) and a co-accused who is one of the six in the 'colour party' in the parade. (none of the six identified themselves in court)

Sean Pearson (on the left) and a co-accused who is one of the six in the 'colour party' in the parade. (none of the six identified themselves in court)

The six are: Eamon Green, 30, from the Falls Road in Belfast; Christopher Hamill, 28, from Lurgan Tarry in Lurgan, Martin Conlon, 48, from Tarry Drive in Lurgan; Emmet Donnan, 30, from Colin Mill in Dunmurry in Belfast; Matthew O’Donnell, 39, from Lislane Drive in Londonderry; Gary Doherty, 36, from Old Mountfield Road in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

They are also accused of taking part in an unnotified public procession and having clothing or articles as a member or a supporter of an outlawed organisation.

A police officer made a tentative application for bail conditions to be varied in relation to a planned protest at Lurgan police station this weekend but District Judge Bernie Kelly said she had no authority.

She warned, however, that if any of the accused were at the protest, “it only takes someone else to degenerate the situation which is something else entirely.”

“If they breach their bail or are charged, they won’t get bail a second time,” said the judge.

The six men are also due back in court on 8 June.