Derry fan has ban lifted

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A Derry City supporter has had his five year ban from football matches overturned, however he still missed Sunday’s historic FAI Cup victory at the Aviva Stadium.

William Diver received the football ban after he was arrested and convicted for taking a flare into the Setanta Cup final in May.

Last week Mr. Diver was convicted of the offence under the Justice Act 2011 at Belfast Magistrate’s Court.

The charge related to him having a thermobaric canister. The canister produces a bright flash when lit.

Diver was subsequently banned by the courts from all football matches in Northern Ireland for five years.

The order imposed on 36-year-old William Diver, from Inveroe Gardens in Derry, was believed to have been the first of its kind since new powers were given to judges.

Mr Diver had also been given a suspended jail term. That sentence has now been rescinded to a £100 fine.

Last week Belfast Magistrates Court heard that the defendant had been searched and arrested at the ground before the device was lit.

Yesterday Mr Diver told reporters the case should never have got to court in the first place.

“The judge said the five year ban should never have been introduced because of the legalisation.

“The suspended sentence was also lifted and I got fined £100, so it went from one extreme to the other.

“I feel a little bit embarrassed because it was splashed all over the papers.

“I was hoping to go to the cup final in Dublin but I would never have got on any bus.

“It was harsh but I am pleased with the outcome.”

Mr. Diver then added: “I have learned my lesson I won’t be carrying any flares or fireworks to matches anymore.”