THREE republicans including Mountfield man Francis Mackey have been detained by authorities at a Canadian airport.
The three men, who are all members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, had arrived in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport ahead of a six-day long speaking tour on Wednesday when they were taken into custody.
According to a statement released by the republican group, Mr Mackey, Peter Fitzsimons and Martin Rafferty were interrogated and informed that they were being denied entry into Canada.
A spokesperson claimed that the three have been transported to prison where they could wait for up to two weeks before being deported
“Peter is currently being held in Maplehearst Detention Centre, which is a maximum security prison for those awaiting trial,” said the spokesperson. “If they contest this and have a hearing they were told that they would be held in remand for up to two weeks.”
Formed in 1997 by republicans opposed to Sinn Féin’s peace strategy, that eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement, the 32 CSM has been linked to the Real IRA, who planted the Omagh bomb in August 1998, killing 29 people and two unborn babies.
The group claim the detention of its three members is politically motivated.
“The 32 County Sovereignty Movement are not a proscribed organisation in Canada so this is clearly politically motivated and an attempt to stop the 32 County Sovereignty Movement from getting its message out and to explain to people nothing has changed since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and that the root cause of conflict has not been addressed and that is – the violation of Irish National Sovereignty.”