Protester who was tackled by Canadian Ambassador appealing conviction

Protester who was tackled by Canadian Ambassador appealing conviction

A protester who was tackled by the Canadian Ambassador at a 1916 commemoration ceremony in Dublin is appealing his conviction for a public order offence.

Community worker Brian Murphy, 47, of Newcastle Manor, Newcastle, Co Dublin interrupted a 1916 commemoration service for members of the British army, held at Grangegorman military cemetery in May last year.

Murphy, whose great great grandfather is buried in the cemetery, was an invited guest at the commemoration. During his trial he had said his paternal grandfather had fought in Boland’s Mills in the 1916 Rising and was a republican who entered politics and later became a TD.

The trial heard that as the event began, he rose from his seat and made his way forward shouting: “This is an insult. This is an insult” and “free the Craigavon two” before he was tackled by Canadian ambassador Kevin Vickers who was one of the dignitaries at the ceremony.

He was found guilty following a district court trial last year on a Public Order Act charge of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour. He had pleaded not guilty but was convicted and received a two-month sentence which was suspended for one year.

However, he is has launched an appeal in a bid to clear his name.

It came before Judge Petria McDonnell at the Circuit Court’s district court appeals list on Wednesday. However, the case was not reached and Judge McDonnell ordered that it will take place on July 17 next.

Mr Vickers, a former Canadian House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, was appointed as the Ambassador of Canada to Ireland in January 2015.

He was hailed a hero two after he shot Islamist gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who had killed a soldier at the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa in October 2014.

The 1916 event at Grangegorman military cemetery was attended by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan as well as the British ambassador Dominick Chilcott and members of Irish and British armed forces.


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