Marian Price sentenced for Massereene attack phone link

Price had pleaded guilty to providing phone that was used by the Real IRA to claim attack

Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 11:09

Marian Price has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for three years, for offences connected with dissident paramilitary activity.

At trial, Price, also known as Marian McGlinchey, had pleaded guilty to providing a mobile phone that was used by the Real IRA to claim to the media that it had carried out the attack in which British soldiers, Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, were killed at Massereene barracks in Antrim in 2009.

The soldiers, who were about to embark for duty in Afghanistan were shot dead at the entrance to the base as they and other soldiers were collecting pizzas from a local delivery service.

Price admitted purchasing the pay-as-you-go mobile phone which was used to make a number of calls to the media and to the Samaritans in which the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the attack.

Price also admitted a charge of aiding and abetting the addressing of a meeting to encourage support for terrorism. This related to a dissident Easter rally in Derry in April 2011 in which she held a speech for a masked Real IRA member to read.

Sentencing her, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said he was satisfied that, on account of Price’s declining health and medical reports warning that further imprisonment would damage her mental health, she was at low risk of reoffending.

Price dressed casually in dark trousers and a brown jacket and scarf stood in the dock with the aid of a walking stick. She said nothing throughout the short sentencing hearing other than to confirm her identity and to confirm she understood the court decision.

In 1973, Price, along with her sister Dolours, who died in January this year, and with other IRA members – including Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly – carried out the bombing on the Old Bailey court in London. One man died of a heart attack and more than 200 people were injured in the explosion.

Speaking outside the court, a spokesman for the PSNI confirmed that the murder investigation remains open.

“Despite today’s sentencing and previous acquittals, the investigation remains open. Police would appeal to anyone with any information about those involved in these murders to contact them.”

He added: “The tragic outcome of those events in March 2009 is that the Azimkar and Quinsey families are facing another year without their brothers and son.”