Belfast Telegraph

Belfast flag protestor cleared of taking part in illegal procession

A Belfast man was acquitted today of taking part in an illegal march linked to the union flag protests.

In what is being seen as a test case, Adam Brennan was cleared of taking part in an un-notified public procession after insisting he had not heard police warnings.

The 26-year-old, of Rochester Avenue, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court in connection with events on December 15 last year.

Demonstrators were en-route from east Belfast to protest at the decision to restrict the flying of the union flag at City Hall.

Around the Queen's Bridge area police announced over a loud haler that the procession was unlawful.

In evidence at a contested hearing Mr Brennan said he had not heard the notification due to noise levels.

He said he would not have taken part in the march if he had known it was illegal.

His barrister, Richard McConkey, argued that being unaware of the unlawful status provided a defence to the charge.

Following submissions District Judge Ken Nixon ruled that he should be acquitted.

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