Five men appeared in Belfast Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged in relation to the street violence which broke out in the Holy Land area of the city on St Patrick’s Day.
The group were among more than a dozen people who were arrested during the ugly scenes on Tuesday which started after police moved in to deal with the hordes of students which had spilled on to the streets following a number of house parties.
Officers were pelted with bottles, cars were damaged, rubbish was thrown all over the street and local residents were left terrified for their safety after party-goers became rowdy following hours of drinking.
First in the dock was Gary Martin Keenan (20), from Carrickbawn Road, Rostrevor, who was accused of riotous behaviour at Carmel Street — the site where most of the trouble flared on Tuesday. Augustine Francis McAleer (19) and Enda John Ward (26) of Loughmacrory Park, Omagh, are both accused of assaulting a police officer.
McAleer, who was wearing a green St Patrick's Day T-shirt, is further charged with the attempted criminal damage of a police Land Rover, riotous behaviour and resisting arrest. Ward, who was wearing a Dublin GAA shirt in court, faces a second charge of obstructing police.
Alan Dermot McCrory (21), a student from Charlestown Road, Craigavon, was also charged with assaulting a police constable and riotous behaviour.
Above: Darren Connolly, Gary Keenan, Enda Ward and Francis McAleer
Darren Joseph Connolly, an electrician from Tievenamara Road, Keady, was charged with riotous behaviour and obstructing police.
A police officer told Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday he could connect each of them with the alleged offences.
All five were released on bail, which was set at £500, and ordered to appear again on April 1. A solicitor for some of the accused said they would be contesting the case.
Nineteen people were arrested during the disturbances in the Carmel Street and Agincourt Avenue areas.