Ballycastle councillor facing new charges over July 12 parade incident

Councillor Padraig McShane.

Councillor Padraig McShane.

A court has heard a defence lawyer for Ballycastle independent councillor Padraig McShane claim there are 30 witnesses involved after he was charged in connection with a controversial Orange Order parade through the town on July 12.

The 44-year-old from Beechwood Avenue was first in court last month in connection with the case, and at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on Monday amendments were made to the charges he faces.

Originally he faced four charges including ‘making insulting and threatening comments to persons participating in a parade with intent to provoke a breach of the peace’ but that has now been withdrawn.

One of the other original charges has been amended and two fresh charges have been laid against the councillor who was in the dock as a prosecutor outlined the changes.

The councillor now faces five charges including allegedly assaulting and resisting the same police officer.

It is also alleged he ‘organised’ an un-notified ‘protest meeting’.

The new charges are that he was disorderly at The Diamond in Ballycastle and that he took part in an un-notified protest at another part of Ballycastle – Altananam Park – on July 12.

McShane sits on Coleraine-based Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.

A defence lawyer told the court there are 30 witnesses in the case and “quite voluminous CCTV”.

The lawyer said there are a “number of issues still to be explored” including with the police ombudsman’s office.