Defence team call for Judicial review

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A JUDICIAL review has been asked for by the defence team of a high profile member of a residents’ group who has appeared in court charged with failing to comply with a Parades Commission condition over a ‘protest’ at a loyalist march in Rasharkin.

Sean Hanna (52), of Carnfinton Park, Rasharkin, is a spokesman for Rasharkin Residents’ Collective which lobbies about loyalist parades in the mainly nationalist village.

“There is an ongoing review” of the Hanna case by the PPS

The accused is charged in relation to a parade at Main Street in the village on August 8 last year.

The charge he faces is that ‘being a participant in a protest knowingly failed to comply with a condition imposed by the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland that is to say gathered at a different location than that determined by the Parades Commission’ contrary to the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act’.

The Parades Commission website shows Apprentice Boys of Derry parades were held in Rasharkin on August 8 last year.

In March, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard “there is an ongoing review” of the Hanna case by the Public Prosecution Service and a defence lawyer said if the case goes ahead it will be a “contested matter”,

The case was adjourned and on Monday April 4 a prosecutor said the defence have asked for a judicial review of the case. District Judge Liam McNally adjourned the case generally and said either the prosecution or defence can bring it back onto the court list.

There are a number of loyalist parades in Rasharkin each year and for several years residents groups have held protests. At events like the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band annual band parade in Rasharkin there are large police operations.