Two on trial over IRA speech from the plot

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Two Londonderry men have appeared in court in Belfast over a terrorist-related offence linked to an Easter Rising commemoration in the City Cemetery which was addressed by a masked man.

Ciaran Anthony Boyle, 30, and 53-year-old Anthony Michael Lancaster are charged with assisting in arranging or managing a meeting which they knew was to be addressed by a person who belonged or professed to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.

Outlining the Crown case against the pair at Belfast Crown Court, a prosecuting barrister said the charge arose from an event in the City Cemetery on Easter Monday – April 9, 2012 – which was held by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

Judge Sandra Crawford, who is presiding over the non-jury Diplock trial, was told it was the Crown’s case that both Boyle and Lancaster assisted in the management of the meeting, which was addressed by a masked man who made a speech on behalf of ONH/the Real IRA.

Lancaster, from Circular Road in the Creggan area of Londonderry, was described in court as being the master of ceremonies at the event while co-accused Boyle, from The Meadows, is accused of raising and lowering the Irish flag.

Both men deny the terrorist offence levelled against them.

During the Crown’s opening, the prosecution played aerial footage of the event which was taken from a police helicopter, as well as footage taken at ground level, which shows various incidents including a masked man giving a speech on behalf of ONH/the Real IRA.