‘What is a rap artist?’ asks judge in assault case

RAPPERS Eminem and Tinie Tempah were name-checked at Cork Circuit Criminal Court during some unexpected rapport between lawyers and a judge yesterday on the nature of rap music.

Brian Relihan, aged 20, of The Mews, The Spa Walk, Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to assaulting two gardaí.

Barrister Seamus Roche said Relihan had been launching an album on the night in question, being a rap artist.

Judge Patrick J Moran interjected: “Judges of a certain age are always asking questions they should not ask but I am afraid I have to ask, what is a rap artist?”

There followed a valiant exposition by Mr Roche BL on the nature of rap.

“I don’t know if your lordship has heard of Eminem, who would be the most prominent?” Mr Roche asked.

Judge Moran replied that he had heard of Eminem and Mr Roche continued: “It is slam poetry. They talk to music rather than singing to it.”

Judge Moran said: “I understand, I know what you are talking about.”

The judge then turned to prosecution barrister Donal McCarthy, expressing the hope this explanation had clarified the position for him. Mr McCarthy admitted: “It is the slam poetry that gets me.”

Relihan told the judge he was scheduled to perform as the warm-up act for rapper Tinie Tempah at Oxegen this summer. He apologised for assaulting the gardaí and Judge Moran imposed a two-year suspended term.

The defendant’s brother Michael Relihan of Chestnut Grove, Mallow was sentenced on the same charges to 30 months with the last year suspended. Michael Relihan broke Garda Larkin’s nose, putting him out of work.

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