Northern Ireland news

Man who caused Clonard disturbance had drank bottle of vodka

Belfast Magistrates Court was told police were called to the area on April 1 following reports of a domestic incident

A 39-year old man who caused a drunken disturbance in the Clonard area of Belfast while visiting his mother over the Easter period has been handed a suspended sentence.

Gerard McConville, of no fixed abode, was given a three month jail term, which was suspended for 18 months, after he admitted using disorderly behaviour at Kilmore Close on Easter Sunday.

A prosecutor told Belfast Magistrates Court that police were called to the area on April 1 following reports of a domestic incident. When they arrived at the scene, they saw a male who was then warned on several occasions to stop shouting and swearing in the street.

McConville (39) initially refused to give his details to police, and after continuing to swear, he was arrested for disorderly behaviour. The proscutor said he "physically resisted" when he was being placed in the Land Rover.

A lawyer for McConville said he divided his time between living with his mother in Clonard and residing in hostels in Dublin, and had been visiting his mother in Belfast over the Easter holidays when the incident occurred.

The lawyer also revealed McConville has issues with alcohol, that on the day in question he had consumed a bottle of vodka, and the arrest came after McConville returned to his mother's home and found himself locked out.

This action, the court heard, prompted McConville to "shout through the letterbox for his cigarettes." McConville also issued an apology for his behaviour, via his lawyer.

Handing McConville a suspended sentence, District Judge Amanda Henderson told him the sentence will be "live" for the next 18 months.

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