Ex-IRA chief's kidnap trial to resume

The trial of a former IRA chief charged over the kidnapping of a businessman 25 years ago continues today.

Supermarket executive Don Tidey was snatched and beaten outside his Dublin home in November 1983 by men posing as gardaí.

He was held for more than three weeks in woodland in Co Leitrim before the security forces stumbled upon the hideout and a gun battle broke out in which a young garda and soldier were killed.

Prison escapee Brendan McFarlane, aged 56, from Jamaica Street, Belfast, denies three charges linked to the abduction.

Last week Mr Tidey told Dublin’s Special Criminal Court of his ordeal, the weeks he spent in captivity and the relationship with his kidnappers.

A number of gardai involved in the December 1983 dramatic rescue recalled on Friday the shoot-out with the kidnappers.

One officer said he was shot in the thigh during a barrage of gunfire as the armed gang fled the scene in a car.

McFarlane lost a legal challenge in March to stop the case being taken to court, citing delays by the prosecution.

He had been imprisoned in the Maze since 1975 for his part in an IRA bombing of a bar in Belfast’s Shankill Road in which five people were killed.

He was the head of the Provisional IRA prisoners at the Maze and escaped in the mass breakout by 38 inmates from the jail in September 1983.

He was later arrested in Amsterdam in 1986, extradited to the North and released on parole from the Maze in 1997.

He was arrested by gardaí outside Dundalk in 1998.


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