Belfast Telegraph

Drunken bandsman admits to rioting

By JOHN CASSIDY

A member of a loyalist flute band pleaded guilty to rioting on his birthday during serious public disorder at a banned Orange Order parade through north Belfast.

Harry McFarland (49) admitted a single count of riotous assembly on July 12 this year when police came under "heavy and sustained'' attack on the Woodvale Road.

The rioting erupted after police blocked a return leg of an Orange Order feeder parade past the Ardoyne shopfronts following a ruling by the Parades Commission.

Belfast Crown Court heard that McFarland, of Iniscairn Drive, Rathcoole, Newtownabbey, was "clearly intoxicated'' at the time and was captured on CCTV lifting a green wheelie bin with another man and throwing it at police.

Judge Corinne Philpott QC was told that McFarland was present for an hour during the rioting and was a member of a flute band dressed in white trousers and black T-shirt with a logo on it.

Judge Philpott told McFarland she was releasing him on continuing bail until January 17, 2014 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Belfast Telegraph

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