Marian Price “too ill to attend court” as hearing is postponed

A solicitor for former hunger striker Marian Price has told Derry Magistrate's Court that his client was too ill to appear and that her condition is not expected to improve.

The 57 year old who is charged under her married name of Marian McGlinchey, from Stockman's Avenue in Belfast was charged along with 3 others with managing and taking part in a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation on April 25 last year.

They were due to have a preliminary enquiry to have charges reinstated after a judge refused to proceed with them in May due to the delay.

At the hearing defence solicitor for Marian Price, Mr. Peter Corrigan, told the court: "We have reports from prison doctors, UN doctors and defence doctors that Ms McGlinchey cannot participate in court proceedings.

"The prison doctor has also indicated that my client may be giving inaccurate instructions to her defence team due to her illness."

Mr. Corrigan said he would be making an abuse of process application due to the delay in bringing the case to trial and added that if it had been brought 'diligently and expeditiously' the defendant may have been able to participate.

Mr. Corrigan said that it did not look like his client's condition was going to improve.

The solicitor said that the prosecution service had actually contacted the prison to inquire after Ms McGlinchey's condition before proceeding with the prosecution.

Solictors for the other three Mr. Paddy MacDermott and Mr. Ciaran Shields said they had no objections to the proposed adjournment.

The case was adjourned until October 19 to allow skeleton arguments to be prepared.