Rioters 'draining public money'

Published Friday, 02 August 2013
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Recreational rioters are draining vast sums of public money away from health and education during an economic crisis, a senior judge has said.

Rioters 'draining public money'
Riot police pictured in Belfast. (© Presseye)

Mr Justice McCloskey warned of the reduction in services due to those who regard causing trouble on the streets of Northern Ireland as a "sport".

His scathing assessment came as bail was refused to a man accused of inflaming crowds during Twelfth of July trouble in north Belfast by climbing onto a roof and hurling masonry at police.

Dennis McClean, 32, scaled a derelict building facing the Ardoyne Road as violence broke out over the ban on Orangemen parading through the area, it was claimed.

He allegedly gestured and shouted at nationalists in a blatant attempt to "invoke their rage and anger".

Prosecution barrister Fiona O'Kane told the High Court how crowds surged forward after he started throwing missiles.

At one stage he partially fell through the roof, causing police to try to reason with him to come down, she said.

When he refused to co-operate an officer risked his own safety and climbed up onto the roof.

McClean, of Johnston Park, Carrowdore, Co Down, faces charges of riot, doing a provocative act, possession of an offensive weapon in public, resisting police and criminal damage.

His barrister, Richard McConkey, said he had taken a significant amount of drink at the time of the alleged offences.

He contended that his client could be released to live with his parents, well away from north Belfast.

But denying bail, Mr Justice McCloskey said McClean's alleged behaviour was that of "someone who, in common with many others, has obviously enjoyed what has become the sport of recreation of rioting in Northern Ireland during recent years."

"Offences of this kind are nothing short of a disgrace," he said.

Repeating his warning about police and the public being exposed to the risk of injury or death by troublemakers' behaviour, the judge added: "They cause dreadful inconvenience to those living and working in the locality.

"They include the waste of vast sums of public money during a period of economic crisis.

"As a result they are the source of reduced public services in other very needy fields such as health, education and social welfare.

"This is a dreadful mischief which the courts are consistently confronted with. Offending of this kind is inimitable to the rule of law."

© UTV News
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17 Comments
disgusted in NI in Belfast wrote (421 days ago):
@Iain in West Belfast were they the same good citizens that were trying to chop the heads off PSNI officers with OO ceremonial swords or set them on fire with petrol bombs or leave then injured with bricks, bottles, golf balls, fireworks etc, good citizens my backside. @Rob in hellfast, explain to me how it is one sided. I think you will find according to Arlene Foster that more money has been pumped into East Belfast than any other place in NI, so who`s fault is it that it ends up in the hands of loyalist terrorists. Would the PUL community get off their backsides and stop blaming everyone else for their woes. Their culture is not being eroded - 3500 OO parades this year FACT, how many bloody parades do they want every year? 95% of regalia in Belfast City Hall is British. Loyalist paramilitary memorial parades continue yearly. 1000s of UVF and UDA flags throughout NI. More money pumped into loyalist areas than anywhere else, FACT, ask Arlene Foster. And the list goes on and on and on. And are your veiled threats supposed to scare decent people in this country to giving in to the demands of PUL community, threatening to take us back to the dark days, workers strike etc etc, well the economic landscape of this country has changed, it isn't a majority protestant workforce, and we all know loyalist terrorists haven't gone away.
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (422 days ago):
British by birthright in Somerset, Kent or whatever county you are from, just like Iain you left out "themmuns" in your hurry to deflect the blame away from the bleeding obvious.....
Davy in Antrim wrote (423 days ago):
Whilst the rioting and attacks on Police are bad the worst offenders for draining public money is the farce of our legal system. Millions of public money to provide Police protection if the Judicary, upgrading security for their homes and not to mention all the legal aid for the solicitors, junior barristers and QC's. Before Morgan comments he should clean up his own back door!!!!
Tyne Nd Wear in Tyne & Wear wrote (424 days ago):
It started with bad politics, continues with one sided application of the law and will only end with fairness and fair politics. When they removed that flag just before Christmasfor purely point scoring purposes ....this was going to domino. Some sensible politics please and a review of the legal structures ...they Appear rather one sided!
realistic in planet earth wrote (424 days ago):
@British by birthright in Occupied 6 counties of UK wrote (16 hours ago): "Rioting costs ????? I suppose bombing Northern Ireland to bits for over 30 years was an awful lot cheaper or is that all forgot about these days ?"........................................ did the report say that the 30 years of misery was cheaper? what the report is saying is that these CURRENT riots are draining the CURRENT public purse. Or do you want a breakdown of how much each tribe has cost NI, so that it should be made equal?? Or do you think that loyalist rioting is ok, even if it does cost alot, because you are "British by birthright"?? Or do you think that we need to keep on rioting incase the destruction through the troubles is "all forgot about these days"?..........:)
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