Winston Irvine was granted bail for firearms charges

A High Court judge has ruled Winston Irvine, a leading loyalist, will be released from prison on firearms charges.

Winston Irvine was granted bail for firearms charges

A High Court judge has ruled Winston Irvine, a leading loyalist, will be released from prison on firearms charges.

After the judge informed him that he wasn't forensically connected to a bag containing ammunition and guns found in his car boot, the 47-year old was granted bail.

After police took the weapons from Belfast last month, he was taken into custody.

Mr. Irvine is facing charges for possessing a firearm or ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

He was also charged with possessing prohibited firearms, possession of a gun without a certificate, and ammunition without a permit.

Robin Workman, a second man from Shore Road, Larne is currently being held on similar charges.

Police say that Mr Workman, a 51 year-old joiner, took the guns in his van with him to a meeting in Glencairn, Belfast, on 8 June.

After an alleged interaction between them, Mr Irvine's car got stopped shortly afterwards.

According to the prosecution, officers found two pistols, an ammunition magazine, and magazines inside the vehicle's boot.

Mr Irvine, a Ballysillan Road resident in Belfast, claimed he did not know anything about the bag's contents.

Initial reports suggested that Mr. Irvine might be linked to a mix DNA profile on the handle of the bag.

On Wednesday, however, the prosecution stated that he had been excluded from possible contributing by more detailed testing.

"There are no DNA results for Mr Irvine. However, the bag was found in his boot."

Prosecutor against bail: The prosecutor explained how police discovered PS3,000 in cash, black balaclava, and paramilitary memorabilia at his home.

After Joe Brolly, the defence barrister, confirmed that Mr Irvine would allow police to access his phone, Justice O'Hara granted bail.

He stated that "Despite the dangers that the police may be concerned about, I believe that conditions can manage them."

Mr. Irvine must have a PS10,000 cash guarantee, report to the police three times per week, and be limited to one mobile phone.

After it was claimed that internet access was necessary for a sensitive process in which he was involved, he will be granted internet access.

"A witness was present today, who had requested to testify anonymously to court," Mr Brolly said.

"There will be a publication once Mr Irvine has been released. That was delayed. This might have fundamental significance in our society as an entire."

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