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'lost his bap' Lout who launched racist insults at woman blames 'that Black Lives Matter crowd'

He claimed to the Sunday World that he was not a racist, even though his own solicitor told the court “he clearly is”.

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Dungannon man Malachy Patrick McIlvanna (51) of Springdale, admitted disorderly behaviour at a Dungannon supermarket on 28 January

Dungannon man Malachy Patrick McIlvanna (51) of Springdale, admitted disorderly behaviour at a Dungannon supermarket on 28 January

Dungannon man Malachy Patrick McIlvanna (51) of Springdale, admitted disorderly behaviour at a Dungannon supermarket on 28 January

A drunken lout who launched a shocking racist attack on a woman and a child in a shop for not wearing masks is blaming it on “that Black Lives Matters crowd”.

Malachy McIlvanna – caught on camera repeatedly shouting “black c****” and “black b*****ds” – claimed to the Sunday World that he was not a racist, even though his own solicitor told the court “he clearly is”.

The 51-year-old from Springdale, Dungannon, was convicted this week of disorderly behaviour after a prolonged incident at the Lidl store in Scotch Street in the Co Tyrone town on January 28.

But while admitting he “regretted” his choice of words, he then told us the women had “stitched him up” and he claimed they were part of “that Black Lives Matters crowd”.

“It was all blown out of proportion,” he told us after he was handed a two-month suspended prison sentence.

“It was back in January when Covid was really bad. The daily deaths were as bad as at any time during the pandemic, the hospitals were full and ambulances were backed up at their doors.”

Police arrived and spoke to McIlvanna as he left the store, the court was told.

The victims were very shaken by the incident as McIlvanna had spoken to them in an aggressive and abusive manner.

The adult female showed police video footage she had captured on her phone, in which McIlvanna is clearly identified and heard calling the victims “f***ing black c****.”

McIlvanna was cautioned and during interview claimed he was offended by the victims “by not wearing masks”.

He said he was so worked up he “may have used racist language but did not consider himself to be a racist person”.

McIlvanna told us how he lost his bap as he crossed paths with the women in the bakery.

“I was at the bread aisle and these two black women – I don’t believe one of them was a child because she looked in her 20s – weren’t wearing masks.

“They were obstructing the aisle and I could see elderly people scared to go near them because they had no masks on. I was really nervous about catching Covid.

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“So when I was close to them I simply said to them you should be wearing masks. I told them everyone else was wearing masks.

“They followed me and accused me of calling them ‘black b*****ds’ but I couldn’t really understand what they were saying because they couldn’t speak very good English.

“I walked on past and other shoppers were telling me I was completely right to challenge them about not wearing masks. There must have been about 50 people in the shops, it was busy, and they were the only two not wearing a mask.

“Five minutes later they cornered me near the meat aisle. One of them... was calling me a fascist but I couldn’t understand her at first and thought she was calling me a ‘fat sh*t’. She was going nuts and I took the bait and shouted back her some bad things. When I turned round I saw the other one was videoing me.

“I had been stitched up. They are part Black Lives Matters and they had been on Facebook complaining about white people,” he claimed.

“I regret the words I used. I know they were wrong but the police only saw part of the video that showed me saying those things. It didn’t show them shouting close up to my face.”

None of Malachy’s version of events was raised in court and there was no suggestion the women had done anything to “set him up”.

Malachy says the women had called the police and were waiting for him when he left the store.

“The police said the one who said she was a child was distraught.”

McIlvanna admitted using disorderly behaviour but declined to be present at court in person – again due to Covid fears – but joined the proceedings by video-link from his solicitor’s office. A defence lawyer told the court: “Whether my client considers himself racist or not is irrelevant because he clearly is. The comments made were deplorable.”

He continued: “The defendant is fixated on Covid. He was extremely and overly disturbed about the risk of Covid. That continues and played some part in the incident. It’s not an excuse and in no way condones what he did.”

While claiming the language was used “out of fear and anger”, it was acknowledged the court would not accept fear played any role.

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare told McIlvanna: “This was a disgraceful lack of respect for the people you were engaging with. You used racist and abusive language to the victims, one of whom was a child. This case was aggravated by racial hostility and that will be reflected accordingly.”

In terms of penalty, the judge noted McIvanna had “ruled out all community disposals as unacceptable” because he felt unable to manage these, although no medical evidence to support this was provided.

“I treat that as self-serving,” Judge O’Hare said. He imposed a sentence of two months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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