Co Antrim Republican sentenced over explosives back in jail after licence revoked

Niall Lehd (left) was mentioned during court hearings connected to British soldier Ciaran Maxwell (right) last year.

A Co Antrim man named during the trial of a British soldier convicted of possessing explosives has had his early release licence revoked.

It is understood Niall Lehd (28) was detained on the orders of secretary of state Karen Bradley on March 8.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) last night said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases.”

It is believed the father-of-three, who is a member of the little-known anti-agreement Irish Republican National Congress (IRNC), has since been returned to Maghaberry Prison.

He was arrested in 2013 after a bag containing high explosives were found on a doorstep in Larne.

The haul included DDNP (Diazodinitrophenol), a military grade explosive never previously discovered in the north.

In 2014 he was sentenced to six years after pleading guilty to possessing explosives and having a firearm or ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

Half his sentence was to be served on licence.

A judge said he did not consider Lehd to be dangerous and said there was “more of a risk to yourself than to others”.

Several references were also made to Lehd during court hearings connected to British soldier Ciaran Maxwell last year.

Maxwell, who was a member of the Royal Marines, was sentenced to 18 years after he pleaded guilty to storing explosives in the north of England and at hides near Larne in Co Antrim.

The haul included 14 pipe bombs, anti-personnel mines, two explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) and other component parts.

The Irish News understands the former British soldier believed he had supplied the explosives for use by the Continuity IRA.

Lehd was arrested in August 2016, the same month as Maxwell, and later released.

Lehd’s solicitor Aiden Carlin last night said he has been instructed to “challenge the lawfulness, necessity and proportionality of the Secretary of State’s decision to recall Niall Lehd to prison”.

“Our instructions are that since his release from prison two years ago Niall Lehd has positively contributed to his family and community. He has not been charged with any new offence,” he said.

“We intend to challenge the lawfulness, necessity and proportionality of the decision to recall Niall Lehd to prison.”

In a statement posted on a Facebook page set up to highlight his case Lehd said that after his release he set about rebuilding a life for himself, his partner and children.

“I have been given no reason why it has been seen fit to take a father away from his children the youngest being 18-months-old,” he said.

“It’s not just me but my family, friends and comrades who suffer at the hands of British internment.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.


As most people will know on the 10th March 2016 Tony Taylor was taken from his family and interned at the behest of MI5/British government and it is now approaching the 2 year point of Tony’s Internment .
The free Tony Taylor committee are calling on all our friends and supporters to mark this day (10th march) with some form of action to show your solidarity with Tony and his family and show the British government /MI5 that we will never accept the internment of Tony Taylor or any Irish citizen
End Internment
Free Tony Taylor

Anyone organising any events please feel free to let us know and we will gladly advertise it on our page for you.

With many thanks to: Free Tony Taylor’s Facebook Page.

Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) will be holding a protest in Monaghan Street Newry on Saturday 3rd February at 1pm.

The purpose of the protest is to highlight the blatant intermnent of Gabriel Mackle in Maghaberry jail.

Gabriel Mackle is is one of three currently interned by the British State, the other two are Tony Taylor and Neil Hegarty. These three men are Not the first and have joined The long list of Irish Men and Women who have suffered under The British Injustice system. The Irish people do not stand a chance of fair treatment under British occupation.

We call on all Republicans to join us on the streets of Newry to show your support for Gabriel and the other political internees.

With many thanks to: Chris Hamll, Republican Sinn Féin




With many thanks to: Free Tony Taylor

Follow this link to find out more:

Members of the Thomas Harte cuman Republican Sinn Féin erected more boards in North Armagh today

The boards highlight the current use of internment in Ireland. Gabriel Mackle, Neil Hegarty and Tony Taylor are currently interned without charge, without trial and without any justification.

Also the attempted extradition of Liam Campbell is highlighted. The free state government are currently trying to have him extradited to Lithuania where he will face inhumane prison conditions and breaches of his human rights.

With many thanks to: Chris Hamll – Republican Sinn Féin



Saoradh have been made aware of, and condemn, the actions of the British Government in revoking the licence of recently released Republican Prisoner Neil Hegarty.

Neil was only released yesterday (5th December) after five years in gaol, and had been at home with family and friends celebrating his release when armed Crown Forces arrived to return him to captivity.

Neil was removed from the house and is to be returned to Maghaberry Gaol.

This vindictive action has been quite clearly premeditated and yet another example of continuing attacks on the Republican Community by British State Agencies.

Neil Hegarty is an unashamed Irish Republican, who has been returned to captivity by a foreign government with no right to be in Ireland. He is yet another victim of Internment via revocation of licence and should be released back to his family immediately.

Saoradh will be to the fore in campaigning for Neil’s release, and should he remain unjustly incarcerated protest action will be forthcoming.


With many thanks to: Saoradh PRO Department

Release Gabriel Mackle – End British Internment

Release Gabriel Mackle a political internee being held at the hands of the British government for no other reason than being a Republican.

Nearly 20 years on from the so called good friday agreement Irish citizens are still denied the right to engage in legitimate political activities without the threat of intimidation, arrest and internment.

“The British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland”


With many thanks to: Chris Hamll