Jamie Bryson slams Tony Taylor incarceration and speaking ban

Tony Taylor (left) and Jamie Bryson (right).
Tony Taylor (left) and Jamie Bryson (right).

The loyalist blogger and former flag protestor Jamie Bryson has said Derry republican Tony Taylor's 994 day incarceration, which he's banned from talking about under his release terms, should be of concern to the whole of society.

Mr. Bryson was speaking after Mr. Taylor was finally released from Maghaberry and returned to Derry yesterday after having spent almost 1,000 days in the County Antrim jail.

Mr. Taylor spent over two and a half years in the prison after having had his licence revoked by the former Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, in March 2016, based on intelligence assessments by the security services. He was never charged with any new offence, however.

Following his release Mr. Bryson remarked: "Regardless of his political background, Tony Taylor was returned to prison with no evidence or charge, held for 2 1/2 years and then told he wasn’t allowed to speak out about it.

"What kind of society is this? It is a republican this time, could be a loyalist- or anyone- next time."

Mr. Taylor was jailed for 18 years after being blown-up in a botched IRA mortar attack in 1994, but was subsequently released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

The former Republican Network for Unity (RNU) spokesman received a further three-years jail term for possession of a rifle in 2011, but was released with time served in 2014.