Protester wrestled by Canada envoy appeals ruling
A PROTESTER who was wrestled by the Canadian Ambassador at a 1916 commemoration ceremony in Dublin at which he was making a protest has been given a chance to avoid a criminal record.
Brian Murphy publicly apologised yesterday in his bid to have his recorded conviction for a public order offence overturned.
Judge James O’Donohue said he would be given the Probation Act if he donated €900 to charity and apologised to the garda who arrested him, John Cahill. Judge O’Donohue also suggested he write a letter of apology to the ambassador, Kevin Vickers. Youth club manager Murphy, 48, of Newcastle Manor, Newcastle, Co. Dublin, interrupted a televised 1916 commemoration service for members of the British Army, held at Grangegorman military cemetery on May 26 last year.
Mr VIckers had been hailed a hero two years earlier after he shot Islamist gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who had killed a soldier at the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa in October 2014.
Father-of-five Murphy was found guilty following a district court trial last year on a Public Order Act charge of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour. He had pleaded not guilty but was convicted and received a two-month sentence which was suspended for one year.
However, he launched an appeal in the Circuit Court which came before Judge O’Donohue who rejected defence arguments about right to protest or that the accused had not caused a breach of the peace.
The judge said he would spare him a conviction if he apologised publicly, donated €900 to charity and said sorry in private to Garda John Cahill. Murphy told the court he apologises to anyone who was insulted. The case was adjourned until a date in January.