News

Belfast man who tagged himself in TWO riot pics on social media jailed

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Band parades are stopped from passing Ardoyne shops last year (Pic Pacemaker)
Band parades are stopped from passing Ardoyne shops last year (Pic Pacemaker)
A band parade is stopped from passing the Ardoyne shops last year (Pic Pacemaker)
A band parade is stopped from passing the Ardoyne shops last year (Pic Pacemaker)

A Belfast man who tagged himself in photos of rioting on social media has been handed a two year jail sentence.

Robert Darragh, of Hopewell Crescent on Shankill Road, was arrested after tagging himself in photos of disturbances last July in the Twaddell/Woodvale areas.

The 21-year-old will spend half of his sentence in jail and the other half on licence.

29 officers were injured in the rioting last summer, which took place after a Parades Commission decision to ban a flute band passing by shops near the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.

A police officer said that Darragh had been observed on numerous occasions throwing items at the police.

After the riot, police trawled through social media in order to identify offenders.

Darragh had been caught on CCTV throwing items at the police with his face covered, but when police looked through social media, they found a picture of Darragh sitting on a wall with his face uncovered, and that he had even tagged himself as that person and had even tagged himself as one of the people involved in a riot in the Woodvale Road area.

The Crown prosecutor said that when Darragh was arrested, he admitted that he had been in the area and had been very drunk.

However, he said that he couldn't remember if he threw anything at the police.

Darragh's defence barrister, Michael Boyd, said that Darragh was "one of a handful of individuals in front of that crowd involved in throwing missiles at police lines from a short distance".

He added that there was "nothing to suggest any police officer was injured " as a result of Darragh's actions, and that he had "allowed himself to get caught up" in the riot which resulted in him behaving in an "outrageous" manner.