No prosecution for Fleadh band

Published Tuesday, 02 September 2014
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A band that faced widespread criticism after its singer urged British soldiers and their "Orange comrades" to go back "to England" will not face prosecution.

No prosecution for Fleadh band
The band The Druids performing at the Ardoyne Fleadh. (© screengrab)

Police received a number of complaints about the videoed remarks that were made during a performance by Co Kildare-based 'rebel band' The Druids at a community festival in north Belfast last month.

A video filmed on the last night of the Ardoyne Fleadh was posted on YouTube with the band member's comments.

Both unionist and nationalist politicians criticised the address to a crowd of around 5,000 at the partly publicly-funded event. The band had claimed the comments were taken out of context.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said: "Police conducted a full and thorough investigation into complaints made and evidence was presented to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

"The PPS has provided pre-prosecutorial advice that no criminal offence has been committed."

DUP MP for North Belfast Nigel Dodds said the PSNI and PPS's actions "beggared belief" and said the import of the decision should not be underestimated by the authorities.

"This decision will be challenged by the DUP at the Assembly, on the Policing Board and through any other avenue we can find," he said.

TUV Belfast councillor Jolene Bunting said the move would "further damage unionist confidence in the police".

Ulster Unionist Policing Board member Ross Hussey claimed the decision was both "indefensible and inexplicable".

He called on Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory to explain.

"I want to hear from the Director of Public Prosecutions and the sooner the better," he said.

A spokeswoman from the PPS said: "We can confirm that PSNI sought prosecutorial advice from PPS in connection with their investigations into events at Ardoyne Fleadh on the 23rd and 24th August 2014.

"On the basis of information provided by police, it was not considered that there was evidence of conduct amounting to a criminal offence."

© UTV News
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46 Comments
lorna in limavady wrote (47 days ago):
IT IS A SIGN OF THE TIMES WE LIVE IN. That band can get off with inciting hatred and get off scott free to do it again. If ever there were a need for communities to come together in an understanding after years of being at each other's throats it is now.This is just like Pastor McConnell's remarks but victims of the IRA expect very little these days.The OO just need a thick skin for it seem no one cares. as a daughter of a one time Orangeman. I could ask that band member where I should go. possibly a past generation of mine came over to Ireland but is he so sure his ancesters did not also.
Glenn in Belfast wrote (48 days ago):
DOUBLE STANDARDS
Brian in Belfast wrote (48 days ago):
Racist hatred pure and simple. Why is it acceptable when it comes from republicans?
jimbo in Garvagh wrote (48 days ago):
Shocker! Republicans make sectarian remarks and the psni take no action. You will be telling me we are heading for a shared future next!
Stephen in Markethill wrote (48 days ago):
They must have got 'a letter' from government
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