‘Did you save Ireland, of course you didn’t’


Two Lurgan men who contested public order offences and were convicted were each given 200 hours community service last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

But they were told that if they had pleaded guilty one would have received a conditional discharge and the other a fine.

Sean McKenna (25), Kilwilkie Road, Lurgan, and Pearse Toman (29), Drumnamoe Avenue, Lurgan, were convicted of disorderly behaviour and resisting police on July 2 this year at Lake Street in Lurgan.

Sentencing had been adjourned from a previous court so that a short sentence report could be obtained.

No details of the offences were outlined to the court last week.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said that under new legislation she had to explain to the defendants what they would have received if they had pleaded.

“It’s not the crime of the century,” she commented. “Did you save Ireland, of course you didn’t.”

She added that she could not understand why people lacked so much wit and the stupidity of not minding your own business and getting involved with the police.

The judge told McKenna that since it was five and a bit years since his last appearance in court he would have been given a conditional discharge.

She added that Toman was likely to have received a fine because his last offences were not so long ago.

“There is no call for this nonsense,” said Judge Kelly.

Imposing community service she warned that if they did not co-operate with probation they would face immediate custody.