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Raytheon nine: Derry disarmers face court again

Issue No. 2055

The Raytheon Nine appeared in court last week. The demonstrators stormed the Derry base of US arms manufacturer Raytheon in August last year, barricading themselves into the building.

Raytheon, based in Boston in the US, is the world’s third largest missile manufacturer.

It is the maker of the Tomahawk, Sidewinder, Patriot and “bunker buster” bombs.

Raytheon produced software for guided missile units used by Israel’s army in its assault on Lebanon.

Before the hearing civil rights activist Eamonn McCann, one of the nine, addressed around 70 supporters.

The magistrate hearing the case lambasted the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for delaying the trial.

Derry’s resident magistrate Barney McElholm hit out at the PPS saying it was “completely unacceptable” that a preliminary enquiry into the cases of the Raytheon Nine was not able to proceed.

McElholm apologised for the delay in the case to the nine men charged – Colm Bryce, Garry Donnelly, Kieran Vincent Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, Sean Heaton, James Kelly, Eamonn McCann, Patrick McDaid and Eamon O’Donnell.

“This is not a murder case,” he said. “The charges are of criminal damage.

“If I had the powers to manage this case I would take action.

“These defendants have the right for their case to be heard in a proper fashion.

“It’s been ten months since these offences allegedly occurred and still the file is not ready. It’s not good enough and I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the length of time these cases are taking.

“I could discharge these defendants but they could be re-arrested.”

The case was adjourned the case until 19 June.

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Tue 12 Jun 2007, 19:56 BST
Issue No. 2055
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