A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sean Garland, the President of the Workers' Party, after he failed to appear in a Belfast court today to face possible extradition to the US.

Mr Garland, 71, a former leader of the Official IRA, was arrested in Belfast in October on the eve of his party's annual conference.

He appeared in court on foot of an arrest warrant alleging that he had been involved in counterfeiting large quantities of $100 bills.

He was subsequently released on bail, on the condition that he resided with a friend in Co Down.

Last month his bail was varied to allow him to return home to Navan to undergo medical treatment.