Northern Ireland news

Prominent republican Thomas Ashe Mellon among 11 men fined over illegal Derry parade

Former republican prisoner Thomas Ashe Mellon was one of 11 men convicted. Picture from BBC

PROMINENT dissident republican Thomas Ashe Mellon was among 11 men convicted yesterday of taking part in an illegal parade in Derry.

The men were charged over a parade in the Creggan area of the city on April 2 last year.

Police vehicles came under attack from youths throwing stones and petrol bombs prior to the march.

The defendants were Joseph Patrick Barr (31) of Sackville Court, Andrew Carlin (31) of Woodvale Mews, Gearoid Cavanagh (30) of Northland Road, Gary Hayden (46) of Tyrconnell Street, William McDonnell (32) of Harvey Street, Jason Lee Ceulemans of Long Tower Court, Paul McIntyre (51) of Ballymagowan Park, Patrick Mellon (27) of John Field Place, Thomas Ashe Mellon (43) of Rathmore Road, John Patrick Nash (65) of Fergleen Park and Christopher Paul O'Kane (45) of Iniscarn Road.

A twelfth man, Christopher Gérard Gillen (63) of Cornshell Fields in Derry, had his case adjourned until May 15.

Derry Magistrates Court heard from a PSNI inspector that he had tried to serve a notice on the parade organisers that anyone taking part was liable for prosecution but had been unable to as shutters were down at Junior McDaid House.

Police then "came under sustained attack" while observing the parade and withdrew to avoid damage to homes in the area.

Evidence from police cameras showed young people wearing masks throwing petrol bombs and stones before the march led by a masked colour party made its way towards Derry City Cemetery.

A prosecution solicitor said the charges before the court did not deal with the disorder.

A defence lawyer said none of the accused would be giving evidence.

Judge McElholm said a case had been made against all of the defendants and fined them £750 each.

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