Latest charges against Gerard Mackin dropped

A man whose trial for the murder of a Belfast taxi driver collapsed in 2011 will not be tried with demanding money with menaces on behalf of the INLA in Co Monaghan last year after the charges were dropped.

A man whose trial for the murder of a Belfast taxi driver collapsed in 2011 will not be tried with demanding money with menaces on behalf of the INLA in Co Monaghan last year after the charges were dropped.

Ms Tara Burns BL this morning told the Special Criminal Court that the State wished to enter a “Nolle Prosequi”, in other words not proceed with the trial of Gerard Mackin (aged 30) and his co-accused Declan Murray (aged 39).

In January 2011 the trial of Gerard Mackin for the murder of Mr Edward Burns, a taxi driver and 36-year-old father-of-five, collapsed after the State entered a Nolle Prosequi.

The chief prosecution witness refused to give evidence at the trial and said he feared for his life.

Mr Mackin had pleaded not guilty to the murder at Bog Meadow, Falls Road, Belfast on March 12, 2007.

It was the second trial of Mr Mackin after a 2008 conviction for the murder was quashed by the Court of Criminal Appeal and a retrial ordered.

Mr Mackin and Mr Murray were returned for trial to the non-jury court in February from Carrickmacross District Court and were due to stand trial in Dublin for two weeks in March 2014.

The two men were charged with demanding with menaces that they were members of the INLA and that Mr Patrick Murray pay €4,500 or he or his family would be harmed at Carrigans, Emyvale, Co Monaghan on May 18 last year.

They were also charged with demanding money with menaces by telephone from Mr Murray on May 21, 2012.

Mr Mackin was also charged with membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann on May 18 last year.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court would accede to the application.

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