Man Brought To Court On 'Anti-Terrorism' Charges For Giving Name and Address In Irish 7 years ago

Man Brought To Court On 'Anti-Terrorism' Charges For Giving Name and Address In Irish

A Dublin man appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court this week as a result of giving his name and address to police in Irish.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, 49-year-old Dermot Douglas of Mellows Court was approached by police after leaving a house in the Creggan Road area of Belfast and searched before being asked for his name and address, which he provided to officers in Irish. He was subsequently arrested on the grounds of "not giving his details to the best of his ability" under the Justice and Security Act and held at Strand Road PSNI Station.

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He was offered a caution but refused it on "on principle" and appeared in front of Judge Barney McElholm, who asked the prosecution "Was the sum total of this case -- that he gave his name in Irish?" before adding "one wonders what would have happened if Mr Douglas had been Romanian or Chinese."

A prosecution lawyer asked for the case to be adjourned for four weeks for further investigation, with the defense arguing that they were "at a loss to see how there could be any further investigation".

The case was adjourned with Douglas due to return to court in May.