Belfast Telegraph

Two men in court following Belfast protests over tuition fees

Two men appeared in court yesterday charged with public order offences in Belfast during student protests against tuition fee rises.

Gerard Carroll (23) and Simon McConville (19) were among those arrested in the city centre last month.

Both men are charged with carrying out a provocative act by sitting on a public highway, and obstructing lawful activity in a public place.

Carroll, of Crocus Street, Belfast, is also accused of resisting police during the demonstrations on December 9.

McConville, from Woodland Avenue in the city, faces a further charge of disorderly behaviour in Donegall Square North.

Police had moved in after some protesters sat down and blocked off a main traffic route outside City Hall.

Several hundred people had gathered to voice anger over proposed tuition fee rises at English universities.

At Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday a crowd of supporters gathered outside and packed the public gallery for the two men's appearance.

A Public Prosecution Service representative said a decision has yet to be taken on Carroll's case.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in two weeks’ time.

Carroll, who was said to be on benefits, was also granted permission to enter Belfast city centre when seeking work.

A constable who connected him to the alleged offences told the court police approved of the bail variation as long as he could provide proof of his intentions.

McConville appeared in the dock without any legal representation.

Remanding him on bail to return along with his co-accused, District Judge Fiona Bagnall advised him to speak to a solicitor before his next court date.

Belfast Telegraph

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