Northern Ireland news

Tommy Tiernan jokes at Belfast show reported to police - but no crime committed

The PSNI confirmed it received a complaint following a show by comedian Tommy Tiernan at Belfast's Ulster Hall on Sunday

POLITICAL-themed jokes told during a comedy performance by Derry Girls actor Tommy Tiernan were reported to police.

The PSNI confirmed it received a complaint following a show at Belfast's Ulster Hall on Sunday.

However, it said the comments did not constitute a criminal offence.

The Irish News was told that some in the crowd objected to political statements about Bloody Sunday and the comedian urging unionist parties to "f*** off to Israel".

Tiernan's 'Paddy Crazy Horse' tour has sold out venues across Ireland and Britain, including five nights in Belfast.

Read More: Tommy Tiernan on the north: It's where I'm just meant to be

Fans were told to expect a "high intensity, high octane, a no-holds-barred roller coaster ride as Tommy continues his constant interrogation of the big ideas - sex, religion, family through the lens of his quirks, personal demons and sense of outrage".

Comedian and actor Tommy Tiernan on the set of Derry Girls. Picture by Mal McCann

Tiernan will also appear on TV screens tonight as Da Gerry in the second series of the hit Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls.

DUP north Belfast councillor Dale Pankhurst said he received "numerous calls" from unionists who had to get up and leave the Ulster Hall show due to comments made about "contentious issues".

He also said police had been informed.

Read More: Review: Derry Girls series two even funnier than first time around

Tiernan had been criticised by a small number of people on Twitter after an earlier tour date in Belfast for being "too political at the start".

However, greater numbers on social media appeared to be supportive of the comedian, and critical of those who walked out.

"Who goes to a Tommy Tiernan gig without realising that his humor is very close to the bone. A bit like going to a Wolfe Tones concert and be offended at hearing a rebel song," said one.

Another added: "There's nothing like outrage and a call to the cops to help shift a few extra tickets, congratulations Tommy Tiernan. Your comments about unionists might have been a bit sweeping but absolutely spot on when talking about the current crop of unionist politicians #NotOffended."

PSNI Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick confirmed that police received one complaint following comments during a show in Belfast on March 10.

"We do not believe that the comments reported constituted a criminal offence," he said.

Tiernan's agent last night said she had no comment to make.

The comedian will play four times at Derry's Millennium Forum this month and has two more sold-out shows in Belfast on March 22 at the Waterfront Hall and March 29 at Whitla Hall.

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