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Judge Orders BBC To Hand Over Material Relating To Tipperary Priest.

The Belfast Crown Court has ordered the BBC to hand over broadcast and withheld or withdrawn material, to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), from their documentary series about the Northern Ireland Troubles, first broadcast back in 2019.

The material is expected to includes interviews with Rev. Fr. Patrick Ryan, latter a Roman Catholic priest, who told the programme he had maintained a network of Europe-wide contacts, same used to generate arms and money for the IRA.

The priest in question, Fr. Patrick (Paddy) Ryan, now in his 92nd year, was born on June 26th, 1930, in Rossmore, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, one of six children born to a rural farming family.

Fr. Ryan had shown no great interest in politics beyond a hatred for past and present British rule on the island of Ireland; however the Roman Catholic Church and the Pallottine Order would formally suspend him from priestly duties, after he refused a transfer to a Parish Church in England.

Later on, during a trip to Rome in the summer of that same year, he is reported to have informed Italian priests that he hoped that the IRA would bomb the centre of London.

By the Autumn of 1973, he was shuttling back and forth between Dublin and Geneva, opening bank accounts and transferring funding (over £1,000,000) reportedly, granted by his newly acquired contacts within Libyan Military Intelligence in Tripoli.

You can find the full story HERE.

A PSNI lawyer told the court that there were reasonable grounds to believe that same material, currently the property of the BBC was likely to be of use in future terrorist investigations.

Keeping in mind the need to protect the public from terrorist activity; Mr Justice Neil Rafferty presiding in Belfast Crown Court, granted the order allowing the PSNI to access the gathered material.

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