Patrick McDaid's bail varied for yoga and sea swimming

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Image source, Orbon Alija

A man facing terrorism charges has had his bail varied to allow him to attend yoga and sea-swim sessions in Donegal.

Patrick McDaid, 52, of Magowan Park in Londonderry, faces charges of New IRA membership and preparing for acts of terrorism.

He is among 10 people facing prosecution following a joint MI5/PSNI surveillance operation in 2020.

On Friday, a High Court judge granted permission for Mr McDaid to travel across the border for the programme.

Mr McDaid was released on bail last November with a number of conditions including a £50,000 cash surety lodged by his cousin, former Sinn Féin assembly member Raymond McCartney.

Mr Justice McAlinden warned that any violation of the bail variation could result in the forfeiture of the surety.

Counselling sessions

Mr McDaid's barrister said his client would inform police of planned sessions and provide vehicle details ahead of any trips.

Opposing the application, prosecution counsel argued there were open-water facilities available within Northern Ireland.

The judge highlighted the benefits of participating in the County Donegal mental health counselling programme.

"This is not just for the purpose of recreation, this is about engaging in a twice-weekly counselling session," he said.

Under the new conditions, the court will be provided with fortnightly updates setting out the activities undertaken as part of the programme.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland will be able to inform their Irish counterparts about Mr McDaid's participation and request an unannounced check on his whereabouts.

A similar application to vary bail conditions was previously dismissed by a judge at Dungannon Magistrates' Court.

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