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Teenager on the drink obstructed police while singing ‘The Fields Of Athenry’ at them

The district judge said: 'He may have time in Hydebank to learn the lyrics to the entire song.....perhaps he can then sing it with the correct reflection of the sentiments contained in the song.”

Newry Courthouse

A Newry man who obstructed police while singing ‘The Fields Of Athenry’ has been fined £610.

In sentencing the 19-year-old, the district judge commented: “He may have time in Hydebank to learn the lyrics to the entire song…..perhaps he can then sing it with the correct reflection of the sentiments contained in the song.”

Thomas Martin, of Parkhead Crescent, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, resisting police and obstructing police at the city’s Magistrates’ on Wednesday, via videolink from Hydebank.

Prosecution outlined that on June 5, at 12.10am, police received reports of intoxicated males on Upper Edward Street in Newry.

Officers observed two males walking whilst holding open beer bottles. They approached the men in order to dispose of the alcohol as drinking in public places is prohibited in Newry city centre.

Whilst speaking to the males, this defendant became loud and refused to interact.

Martin, whose behaviour was described as obnoxious, then began singing and continued despite numerous warnings.

The defendant was verbally and physically obstructive to police and resisted his arrest before being taken to Lurgan Custody Suite.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Downey explained that Martin was not one of the two males initially spotted by police but he was in the “bad company” of these individuals at the time.

He stated: “He had been drinking alcohol which led him to involve himself in something that had nothing to do with him.”

Mr Downey commented that this was an incident “aggravated by bravado”, informing the court that at the time the defendant had been “living sofa to sofa”.

The solicitor stated that Martin had found settled accommodation in Portstewart but he had since been remanded in custody on unrelated matters and he would likely remain there for the “foreseeable future”.

District Judge Eamonn King inquired as to what the defendant had been singing in the presence of police.

Mr Downey commented: “I believe it was ‘The Fields Of Athenry’…..he was not the ring leader”.

District Judge King stated: “He may have time in Hydebank to learn the lyrics to the entire song…..perhaps he can then sing it with the correct reflection of the sentiments contained in the song.”

Martin was fined £610, along with the offender’s levy of £15, and a forthwith warrant was made for this.

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