Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Derry 'dissident' trial collapses

Dublin's Special Criminal Court
The trial took place at Dublin's Special Criminal Court

The trial of four men from Londonderry charged with membership of an illegal organisation has collapsed.

At the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, the prosecution said on Friday that they were no longer proceeding with the case.

The four men were accused of being involved with dissident Republican activity.

On Thursday, the court ruled that their arrest in County Donegal in March was unlawful.

The men - Gary Donnelly, 38. from Kildrum Gardens, Michael Gallagher, 28, from Sackville Court, Patrick John McDaid, 39, from Marlborough Street and Martin Francis O'Neill from Colmcille Court in Derry - had all pleaded not guilty.

The three judge non-jury court had been told that officers acted on information that a paramilitary group was about to put on a show of strength for the media.

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