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Pastor Barrie Halliday charged after Black Lives Matter comments

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Pastor Barrie Halliday

Pastor Barrie Halliday

Pastor Barrie Halliday

Pastor Barrie Halliday has been arrested and charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network after he posted a video online discussing Black Lives Matter protestors.

The pastor, from Bessbrook in Co Armagh, is due to appear at Newry Magistrates Court on July 8.

Police confirmed a 52-year-old man was arrested on Thursday evening.

The video first appeared on Pastor Halliday's Facebook page on Tuesday.

In the video, which was recorded in a Church Hall, Pastor Halliday said those involved in the protests should be "sent home in a boat".

He was highly criticised following the post, which attracted over 30,000 views before being taken down.

In the video Pastor Halliday vehemently denied he was a racist, but said those attacking statues of political leaders are "on the road to nothing".

"It may have been boats that brought you here three or four hundred years ago and you were brought under duress and against your will, but there's boats sitting there empty at the minute doing nothing," he said.

"You are welcome to get back on them and go back home if you think we're so bad."

Pastor Halliday posted another video on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon confirming his arrest.

He said that he had made it clear he has "no interest or tolerance for racism whatsoever".

"I simply wanted everyone to settle down and hysteria to stop," he said.

Pastor Halliday said he would appear in court on July 8 but that he believed "100% that I didn't ignorantly or intentionally say anything that was out of place".

"I made the statement, I put up the post, I will have to see where it goes from there," he said.

"Court it'll be and we'll just have to see what happens after that."

A PSNI spokesperson said that a 52-year-old man had been charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network.

"He is due to appear at Newry Magistrates’ Court on July 8th," the spokesperson said.

"As is usual procedure all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service."

Belfast Telegraph