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article imageIrish Republican Army icon arrested

By Justin King     Dec 19, 2013 in World
Belfast - Colin Duffy, alleged IRA Commander of Lurgan, was arrested along with two others this week. The three were charged were membership in a proscribed organization and conspiracy to murder days after an IRA bomb exploded in Belfast in an unrelated incident.
Alex McCrory and Henry Fitzsimmons were arrested along with Duffy. Duffy has cultivated a reputation for being almost invincible inside the courtroom and on the streets around the country. Over the course of his service with the Republican cause, he has been acquitted of five murders. The first of those was in 1993 with the accusation that he killed a former Ulster Defense Regiment soldier, followed by the accusation of murdering two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers in 1997, and finally he was found not guilty of killing two government soldiers in 2009. In 1990, Duffy survived an assassination attempt by the Ulster Volunteer Force, shortly after being released from custody on weapons charges. The attempt is believed to have been setup by British forces, and it is reported that a man traveling with Duffy who was mortally wounded used his last words to say
We were let out to be set up.
The most recent charges stem from a police convoy that took fire on December 5, 2013 while traveling on Crumlin Road.
During initial court proceedings, the accused were defiant, refusing to stand as charges were read. Upon exiting the courtroom the trio waved to supporters as they were escorted to armored cars to be transported to prison to await trial. None of the defendants applied for bail.
The arrests come on the heels of a blast in the city center of Belfast. There were no injuries from the explosion, which was claimed by Oglaigh na hEireann. Oglaigh na hEireann, meaning Irish Army in the native language of Ireland, the largest of the armed groups in operating in the area.
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