Belfast Telegraph

Eight men charged with taking part in illegal Londonderry parade

Heavy police presence as local men appear at Londonderry courthouse.

By George Jackson

Extra police officers were on duty both inside and outside the Bishop Street courthouse in Derry yesterday when eight local men appeared charged with taking part in an illegal parade in the Creggan area of the city on Easter Monday.

All eight deny the charge. A ninth co-defendant was not in court due to an illness. He too denies the charge.

The co-defendants are William Martin McDonnell, 30, a barman from Harvey Street, Paul McIntyre, 50, a taxi driver from Ballymagowan Park, John Patrick Nash, 64, from Fergleen Park, Thomas Ashe Mellon, 42, a taxi driver from Rathmore Road, Gary Hayden, 47, a doorman from Tyrconnell Street, Joseph Barr, 29, from Sackville Street, Patrick Mellon, 26, from John Friel Place and Andrew Carlin, 30, from Woodvale Mews.

All of the defendants are jointly charged with taking part in an unnotified public procession in the Creggan on April 2 of this year.

The cases against the eight co-defendants were taken first on the list by Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter.

The defendants spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.

A police constable told the Deputy District Judge that he believed he could connect the eight co-defendants to the charge denied by each of them.

A defence solicitor said all matters were to be contested.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service said the full file in the cases was not yet ready. The cases were adjourned until May 30 with a view to fixing a date for the contested hearings and the defendants were released on continuing bail until that date.

Meanwhile the prosecution solicitor told Mr Prenter that the prosecution was to proceed with separate cases against two of the eight defendants.

The defendant Joseph Barr is charged with permitting the display at premises in Chamberlain Street of an offensive poster containing the graphic photograph of a nude man with a gun and with literature referring to a deceased police officer. He denies committing the offence last October 5. The defendant Barr also denies a further charge of exhibiting to public view in premises at Chamberlain Street last October 23 an image of an armed snowman stating "wishing you an explosive Christmas".

The defendant William McDonnell is also charged with exhibiting to public view an image of an armed snowman stating "wishing you an explosive Christmas" last October 24 and with painting the image of the armed snowman.

That case was adjourned until May 9 to enable a date for their contested hearing to be fixed.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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