Brixton escaper jailed in Dublin

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The Independent Online
NESSAN QUINLIVAN, the IRA suspect who escaped from Brixton jail in south London in July 1991, was jailed for four years yesterday at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Quinlivan, 29, of Ballynanty Beg, Limerick, was found guilty of two charges of illegally having a loaded gun and ammunition when he was arrested in Tipperary on 4 April. But he was cleared of having the weapon with intent to endanger life.

The court was told that Quinlivan was arrested and handcuffed as he came downstairs during an early morning search of a house at Grallagh, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. The gun was found when he was searched at Nenagh police station.

He also had a driving licence with his photograph but a different name. He stayed silent during questioning. Mr Justice Morris, presiding in the three-judge, no-jury court, said the sentences should apply from the date of arrest, and should run concurrently.

Quinlivan will face further firearms and false imprisonment charges before the same court next month, arising from incidents in September 1989 linked to a bank robbery and hijacking of a police car.

So far, there has been no application by Britain for Quinlivan's extradition. He escaped with another IRA suspect, Pearse McAuley, using a gun sent from Ireland, concealed in a pair of training shoes. A prison officer and a passer-by were wounded. At the time, the pair were awaiting trial on conspiracy and explosives charges.

McAuley, 28, from Strabane, Co Tyrone, was arrested in Dublin five days after Quinlivan, following a tip- off. He faces four charges of illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.