Bid to scrap Foot­ball Act as man faces trial

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

A Ruther­glen man will stand trial un­der the Of­fen­sive Be­hav­iour at Foot­ball Act as news emerges of an at­tempt to scrap the law.

Hugh Paul Gal­lagher is ac­cused of be­hav­iour which was likely to incite pub­lic dis­or­der on Glas­gow’s West Nile Street ahead of the Celtic v Ajax match on Novem­ber 25, 2015.

He is re­ported to have shouted, swore and made threat­en­ing and of­fen­sive re­marks to Ajax fans.

Gal­lagher, 52, of Dru­mi­law Road, de­nied the charge when he ap­peared at Glas­gow Sher­iff Court on Tues­day, July 26. A few days later, for­mer Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly launched his con­sul­ta­tion pro­posal to re­peal the act.

Speak­ing at Fern­hill Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Mr Kelly also an­nounced the launch of a non-party cam­paign web­site – scrapthe­act.com.

The Labour MSP, who was re-elected on the Glas­gow list af­ter los­ing his con­stituency seat to the SNP, said: “The foot­ball act is now in in­jury time.

“With the SNP los­ing their ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment we can now re­peal a law that has need­lessly crim­i­nalised foot­ball fans and done noth­ing to tackle sec­tar­i­an­ism in Scot­land. I want to get the views of as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. That is why I have set up scrapthe­act.com.

“The SNP ar­ro­gantly bull­dozed this bad law through the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment ig­nor­ing the con­cerns of others. That should not hap­pen again.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity for the SNP to show some hu­mil­ity, and re­alise that they got it wrong five years ago.”

How­ever, Ruther­glen MSP Clare Haughey, said: “The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has al­ready in­di­cated that it is will­ing to lis­ten to how le­git­i­mate con­cerns about the Act can be ad­dressed.

“Re­peal­ing the act is not a sen­si­ble so­lu­tion to ad­dress those con­cerns and, frankly, at a time when the coun­try is in tur­moil fol­low­ing the EU ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

“With all the dan­gers that poses for the Scot­tish econ­omy, I am sur­prised this would be Mr Kelly’s first pri­or­ity for the new ses­sion of par­lia­ment.”

Gal­lagher is due to reap­pear at court on Septem­ber 29 ahead of his trial on Jan­uary 17.

Cru­achan Road ad­dress on May 22, 2015.

He was sen­tenced to four months im­pris­on­ment when he ap­peared at Glas­gow Sher­iff Court on Tues­day, July 26. Red card MSP James Kelly reck­ons the Act should be abol­ished

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