Pastor: I have no interest in racism

A Co Armagh pastor facing court proceedings over an online video that made reference to ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests has insisted he has “no interest” in racism.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15th June 2020, 8:08 am
©/Pearcemedia-  5th  Jan 2012 Pearcemedia Northern Ireland -Mandatory Credit - Photo  Mark Pearce

Kingsmills pastor Barry Halliday
 Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce
©/Pearcemedia- 5th Jan 2012 Pearcemedia Northern Ireland -Mandatory Credit - Photo Mark Pearce Kingsmills pastor Barry Halliday Mandatory Credit Photo Mark Pearce

Barrie Halliday, 52, from Bessbrook is due to appear at Newry Magistrates’ Court on July 8 charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network in relation to a video posted on social media website Facebook.

Mr Halliday, in another online video, has insisted he didn’t say “anything out of place” and said he has been on the receiving end of threatening messages.

Describing his arrest on Thursday, the well-known pastor said: “Newtownhamilton PSNI arrived at my premises looking for me – three car loads.

“The first car, the marked car, they were out doing the roads to see where I was and to see if there were many about the yard and so forth.

“And then two armoured cars arrived and I was (taken) up the road.”

In the latest video, Mr Halliday said police then informed him he was being arrested following a post “made on Tuesday afternoon concerning Black Lives Matter”.

He continued: “I think I explained myself well. Several times in that post I made it clear I had no interest in or tolerance whatsoever for racism or slavery or any of that.

“I simply wanted everybody to settle down and hysteria to stop.

“I was then told by Newtownhamilton police early on that it was their full intention early on to go for a hate crime against me.

“However, we are where we are.

“I believe 100% that I didn’t, intentionally or otherwise even on the day, ignorantly or intentionally, say anything that was out of place.

“It was a very poor explanation what the actual complaint was, what specific part was meant to be the problem.

“But it looks like they’ll have to explain that in court.”

Mr Halliday added: “So that’s where we are, you’re better hearing it from me. Intolerance, we say something – the abuse coming back, that’s fine, that’s what it is. In recent moments there’s been snapshots and whatsapps of invitations to have me shot. That’s all, that’s by-and-by, that’s where it is.

“I made the statement, I put up the post, and we have to see where it goes from there.

“So court it will be and we’ll just have to see what happens after that.”