Belfast flute band members avoid convictions over music ban

The bandsmen flouted the music restriction outside St Matthew's Church in east Belfast. Pic Google
The bandsmen flouted the music restriction outside St Matthew's Church in east Belfast. Pic Google

Eight members of a flute band prosecuted over a tune played outside a Catholic church in east Belfast have been bound over to keep the peace for 12 months.

The men, all belonging to the Pride of Ardoyne, were accused of defying a prohibition on anything other than hymns being performed during a parade route along the Newtownards Road in May last year.

It had been alleged that they knowingly failed to comply with the Parades Commission condition by playing Simon & Garfunkel tune ‘The Sound of Silence’ close to St Matthew’s Church.

But at Belfast Magistrates’ Court a Public Prosecution Service lawyer revealed charges were being withdrawn on the basis that the men instead consented to being bound over.

Defence solicitor Keith Gamble confirmed his clients agreed with the proposed resolution, which does not involve a conviction.

All eight band members involved in the case were in court for the outcome.

They are: Michael Cosby, 54, of Alliance Road; James Crosby, 27, from Glenbryn Parade; Richard Dunn, 29, of Alliance Road; David Johnstone, 25, of Westway Crescent; David Murphy, 39, from Berwick Road; Bobby Spence, 59, of Alliance Road; Keith Tully, 26, from Alliance Parade; and Gary Wells, 26, of Loughview Close – all in Belfast.

District Judge Amanda Henderson told them they were being bound over to keep the peace and stay away from any disorderly behaviour for one year.

Any breach will leave the liable to pay the sum of £300.