Protester wres­tled by Canada en­voy ap­peals rul­ing

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Tom Tuite

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.

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