Judge commends Derry people

A judge has commended the people of Derry for the Fleadh.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that the people of the city “should be commended. I dont think I have had one single matter before me for the Fleadh. That follows on from the Apprentice Boys Parade and JUly 12.

“This shows what can happen in some areas if people enjoy themselves and stay out of trouble”.

The judge made the comment as 50-year-old Joseph Harkin appeared at the local magistrates court.

Harkin, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and assaulting police on August 17. The incident occurred less than a week after he received a suspended jail term for similar offences.

The court heard that police who were on duty at the Fleadh seized alcohol from two men for breaching council by-laws.

As an officer took glasses off the men he was approached by Harkin who was also carrying a drink. When a police officer took the glass from the 50-year-old he became irate.

Harkin then reached over and swiped his arm at the two seized drinks which hit the officer on the abdomen and legs.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client is alcohol dependent and he received a suspended sentence last week for similar behaviour.

He said Harkin was “initially compliant with police” but that “soon changed when they took the drink off him”. Mr Kyle added that the 50-year-old wished to apologise for his behaviour.

Jailing Harkin for four months, District Judge McElholm said the incident happened outside the actual Feladh area.