A republican prisoner who launched High Court action over being allegedly denied access to his lawyer is set to have his legal consultations reinstated.

Emergency judicial review proceedings were put on hold on Thursday after Christy O’Kane’s solicitor was told visits to HMP Maghaberry are to resume.

With medical treatment also said to have been re-established, the case was adjourned to be monitored again later this month.

O’Kane, a 41-year-old from Derry, is on remand charged with IRA membership and taking part in mortar attacks between 1992 and 1994.

He is being held in the dissident republican Roe House wing where tensions have remained high since last week.

At one stage prison staff were withdrawn from the landings following an incident involving up to 40 inmates.

Republicans claim one prisoner’s arm was broken during a stand-off, while authorities at Maghaberry say their staff have been threatened and intimidated.

O’Kane’s legal challenge reached court amid allegations that he has been denied access to his solicitor for three days running.

It also claimed that he was assaulted by riot squad officers on Sunday night, and has been passing blood since.

Treatment for that and other complex medical needs were not being provided, it was alleged.

But counsel for O’Kane sought an adjournment based on assurances received since the papers were lodged.

Mr Justice Treacy agreed to put the case on hold, rather than dismiss the challenge outright.

Outside court O’Kane’s solicitor, Ciaran Shiels of Madden and Finucane, said his client has now been seen by a doctor.

With a legal consultation booked for Friday morning, he said: “The effect of our challenge is that his medical and legal rights appear to have been re-instated.”

Mr Shiels stressed that O’Kane emphatically denies any threats to prison staff.

He added: “Until we are satisfied that his rights have been re-instated the judicial review remains live and has been taken to 20 February to monitor progress.”

UTV News