A judge has said anti-protocol protestors would do well to heed the words of Sir Edward Carson who said he was sorry he had ever heard of the Conservative Party.
District Judge Barney McElholm was speaking as he sentenced a man at Londonderry Magistrates Court for riotous behaviour and taking part in an illegal parade on April 28 last year.
Travis Kee (19), of Hayfield Park in Derry, admitted to the two charges.
The court heard that police observed a parade in the Tullyally area of Derry, which was attended by 30 to 40 members of bands.
Kee was seen playing ‘a flute-like’ instrument.
A prosecution barrister said the usual warnings were issued; however, these were ignored.
The court heard that on April 28, around 9.30pm, police came under attack and Kee was seen “throwing objects” towards police.
This happened on three occasions.
Defence solicitor Mark Reed said there had been widespread disorder around this time.
He said that Kee had been “drifting” and then fallen in “with a bad crowd” and got caught up in the political situation.
The solicitor said that his client had been given a suspended sentence at the Crown Court for similar offences but now wanted to “get on with his life”.
Judge McElholm said that people are entitled to protest as long as they were “peaceful and legal”, but these protests were “anything but peaceful or legal.”
He said many young men had probably heard about the protocol but would not know what was in it as he himself didn't know.
The judge said that some businesses reported they were doing well from the protocol while others reported problems.
Judge McElholm said that this was something that had to be sorted by politics but was reminded of the words of Edward Carson who said that he was sorry he ever heard of what the judge described as ‘the party who thinks they are natural party of government.’
He added that those organising the protests would not put their name to them and would stay in the background.
He sentenced Kee to 10-months, suspended for three years.