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Councillor McShane charged with assault and making threats at Ballycastle Twelfth rally freed on bail

By Nevin Farrell

Published 11/10/2016

Independent councillor Padraig McShane arriving at court
Independent councillor Padraig McShane arriving at court

A councillor has appeared in court to face four charges arising out of a controversial Orange Order parade on July 12 this year.

Ballycastle independent representative Padraig McShane is charged with assaulting and resisting a police officer.

The 44-year-old from Beechwood Avenue is also charged with "making insulting and threatening comments to persons participating in a parade with intent to provoke a breach of the peace".

A fourth charge alleges that he "organised and participated in" an unnotified "protest meeting".

McShane sits on Coleraine-based Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday a police officer said he believed he could connect McShane to the charges.

The accused said he understood the charges.

A defence solicitor said he had no questions for the officer.

However, the defence lawyer told the court there were a number of Police Ombudsman investigations, two from his client and one from himself.

He said there had been "pre-action proceedings" served on the PSNI.

McShane was released on his own bail of £250, still subject to a signing condition. The case was adjourned to November 14.

The Twelfth is held in Ballycastle, which has a mainly Catholic population, every five years.

After July 12 this year, video footage appeared showing McShane present on the route of the Orange Order parade.

Members of a loyalist flute band, Dervock Young Defenders, were also in the video.

The footage captured at the time showed blood from an apparent head wound as McShane was led away in handcuffs.

After July 12, Dervock Young Defenders were told by the Parades Commission they would not be allowed to take part in a parade through Rasharkin because of "perceived provocative conduct" on July 12 in Ballycastle.

The Parades Commission said it received information and evidence about the "band's perceived provocative conduct on that day" which included wearing face masks, drunkenness and rowdy and antagonistic behaviour. It also said it received complaints that a "protester's conduct had been threatening and provocative".

Regarding the Rasharkin parade, the commission said strict conditions imposed on the parade in previous years were still required but "it has also considered it necessary and proportionate to mitigate heightened community tensions by excluding from the parade the Dervock flute band".

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