Local Celtic fan is cleared of shouting sectarian abuse

A Poleglass man who was charged with shouting sectarian abuse at a Celtic match has been acquitted.
John McKenna from Colinvale was charged with disorderly behaviour and shouting sectarian abuse as well as breaching the peace during the Celtic v Hearts game on October 17. The local man was acquitted at Glasgow Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
John was arrested during the match by a police officer who claimed that the local man chanted “Go Home you Huns”.
The 49-year-old is adamant that he never chanted anything sectarian and says he thinks that he was singled out because he was wearing a top with a tricolour on it.
He has welcomed the court’s decision.
“I am happy with the decision,” said John. “I think that this goes to show that Celtic fans from the North get a hard time from cops when they travel to Scotland. I would just like to thank my family and friends and the Teach na Mona supporters club for believing me and supporting me,” he added.
West Belfast MLA Fra McCann, himself a keen Celtic supporter, said, “I welcome this decision by the court and challenge the attitude of the cops in Scotland. The Scottish parliament needs to tackle sectarianism at the root rather than targeting innocent fans at games,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Monday the Andersonstown News reported that a number of Celtic fans were detained and questioned by Scottish police at Cairnryan port on their way to the game with Motherwell at the weekend, while others were stopped returning from the game.
As well as keeping the supporters for several hours, many were questioned about their families and children, while others claimed police quizzed them about the £26.5million Northern Bank robbery.
On the detentions at Cairnryan over the weekend a spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said, “Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary are responsible for the policing of the ports at Stranraer and Cairnryan in terms of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and other associated legislation.
“It would be inappropriate for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary to make public comment on individual cases.”

Journalist:: Roisin McManus

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