Bid to scrap Football Act as man faces trial
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