Jailed for making ‘old school’ comments

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A man who told police the ‘IRA were the best trained army in the world’ has been jailed for three months.

Joseph Harkin, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour in the early hours of September 20.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to a disturbance in the Dunvale Close area of the city.

Two males, the defendant and his brother, were smashing bottles in the street and making noise.

Officers attempted to speak to the men and Harkin became abusive.

He was highly intoxicated and told the officers to ‘get the f*** out of my country’.

The 52-year-old then said the ‘IRA were the best trained army in the world. The S.A.S. wouldn’t stand a chance’.

The court heard he was warned about his behaviour again and said ‘I am getting arrested. I don’t care I love jail’.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client ‘clearly doesn’t have his finger on the political pulse’.

He accepted his client had a ‘horrendous record’ with 169 previous convictions.

Harkin had appeared in court less than a week ago for a charge of criminal damage.

Mr Quigley said Harkin has had a ‘long standing battle with alcohol and it seems that alcohol wins every time’.

He added the defendant ‘doesn’t fear jail as there is nothing new in that for him’.

Jailing Harkin, District Judge Peter King said the comments made to police were ‘very old school’.