Republican slogan in Sandy Row earns suspended jail term

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A man who shouted an Irish republican-style slogan after police were called to domestic incident in Belfast has been given a one-month suspended jail term.

Darren Caskey’s actions were fuelled by drink rather than any ideology when he yelled ‘Tiocfaidh ar la’, his barrister argued.

Th 45-year-old, of Victoria Street in the city, was convicted of disorderly behaviour over the incident at Sandy Row in September last year.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police called to the scene spotted Caskey cycling past on a bike.

A prosecution lawyer said the defendant shouted ‘f*** off’, ‘f*** you’ and the Irish phrase ‘Tiocfaidh ar la’.

The slogan, which translates as ‘Our day will come’, is often associated with the republican struggle for a united Ireland.

But defence counsel Richard McConkey insisted Caskey’s behaviour was purely down to his level of intoxication.

“It wasn’t some massive political statement, he was just drunk,” Mr McConkey told the court.

Imposing a one-month prison sentence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall suspended the term for 12 months.