McFarlane 'prepared for worst' when questioned

Maze prison escapee Brendan McFarlane told gardaí that he was "prepared for the big one" when he was questioned about the kidnapping of former supermarket executive Don Tidey, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Maze prison escapee Brendan McFarlane told gardaí that he was "prepared for the big one" when he was questioned about the kidnapping of former supermarket executive Don Tidey, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Retired Detective Garda Bernie Hanley said that McFarlane said: "I am prepared for the big one" during the questioning at Dundalk garda station after his arrest in January, 1998.

He said that McFarlane told him and Detective Sergeant Dominick Hayes that he had discussed the future with his Danish girlfriend.

When asked if he meant in relation to the murders of Private Patrick Kelly and recruit garda Gary Sheehan, McFarlane replied: "I am prepared for the worst."

When asked if he had told his girlfriend the truth, McFarlane said that he had told her everything and added that he found it was better to tell the truth.

Detective garda Hanley said that McFarlane made no reply when it was put to him that a fingerprint expert would give evidence that his fingermarks were found on a milk carton, a blue Tupperware container and utensils found at the hide at Derrada Wood, from where Mr Tidey was rescued in 1983.

He was giving evidence in a "trial within a trial" where McFarlane's lawyers are challenging the legality of the arrest and detention of McFarlane in Dundalk in January, 1998.

The court has heard that McFarlane was arrested on a bus travelling from Dublin to Belfast on January 5, 1998 just hours before the then Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam was due to sign final papers releasing Mc Farlane from all parole obligations.

Brendan "Bik" McFarlane, a 56-year-old father-of-three, of Jamaica St, Belfast has denied the false imprisonment of Mr Don Tidey between November 24 and December 16, 1983.

He has also denied possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at Derrada Wood, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim between November 25 and December 16, 1983. and the unlawful possessio of a firearm between the same dates.

Mr Tidey was rescued after twenty three days in captivity and Private Patrick Kelly and recruit garda Gary Sheehan were killed during a shoot out with the kidnap gang.

McFarlane escaped from the mass break out by IRA prisoners from the Maze prison in September 1983 and was arrested in Holland in 1986 and extradited to Northern Ireland.

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