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Driver in McGuinness eggs throwing case is bound over

By George Jackson

Published 22/01/2016

A driver whose passenger threw eggs at Martin McGuinness' chauffeur has been ordered not to disrupt any politicians for the next 18 months.

Aodhan Irwin (21), from Acacia Avenue in the Waterside area of Londonderry, shouted abuse in "a sort of a political discourse", a court heard.

Irwin committed two public order offences - the first on the city's historic walls overlooking the Bogside and the second close to Mr McGuinness' Bogside home on September 10 of last year.

A Public Prosecution Service solicitor told Deputy District Judge Brian Archer that during the first incident Mr McGuinness was conducting a television interview with an RTE reporter.

"A car pulled up nearby. Its front passenger window was down and there was shouting and heckling in the direction of the Deputy First Minister," he said.

"The car was then driven off and a few minutes later the Deputy First Minister's driver arrived and the same car as in the first incident again pulled up nearby again with the front passenger window down.

"The driver and front seat passenger shouted 'scum' and 'Sinn Fein b******ds' and an egg was thrown which landed at the feet of Mr McGuinness's driver.

"A short time later at the junction of Westland Street and Westland Terrace the same car was seen by the Deputy First Minister's driver.

"Again abuse was shouted from the car and the passenger in the car threw a second egg. The eggs did not hit anybody. The driver of the car, the defendant, was later interviewed by the police but he made no comment," the solicitor said.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said Irwin, a welder with no previous criminal convictions, was driving his own car and had not intended to cause any trouble.

"He did not throw the eggs. It was a sort of a political discourse which was somewhat hot and heavy and it was over and above what should be shouted in public.

"The defendant made his opinions known to the Deputy First Minister. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and the defendant hopes to emigrate shortly to work abroad as a welder," he said.

Sentencing Irwin, the judge described him as a nuisance.

"You certainly made a nuisance of yourself this day," he told Irwin.

"Hopefully you will learn your lessons from this.

"I am binding you over not to disrupt any member of the public nor any politicians for the next 18 months on your own recognisance of £250.

"Any further incidents of public disorder involving you and you will forfeit the £250."

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