St Patrick’s Day parade in Tokyo
The last hurler in Japan better watch out for the PSNI!!
There have been recent reports of PSNI harassment towards young Gaels carrying hurling sticks across Belfast city,
20 year old West Belfast student Thomas Thibodeau received
a fixed penalty notice for £85
after he and a friend were confronted by two policemen while playing hurling at Jerusalem Street in the Holyland district at around 5pm on Wednesday last. He disputed PSNI claims that he was warned about his behaviour before the penalty notice was issued.
“I thought it was a joke at the start,” he said. “I could not take it
seriously that she was trying to do me with disorderly behaviour for hitting a hurling ball.”
“There were people playing football and throwing an American football on the street and I doubt any of them were handed a caution,”.
It is common knowledge that this is not a new issue for young nationalists.
July 2009; the then Chief Constable Hugh Orde was forced to clarify the position regarding the PSNI’s attitude to Gaelic Games following an incident in the Waterside area of Derry when a group of teenagers were told that their hurls constituted “offensive weapons”.
Hugh Orde confirmed “that a hurling stick is not – in itself – regarded as an offensive weapon. “Like any other instrument, it can only be regarded as an offensive weapon if the person in possession of it intended to use it as such.
Martina Anderson MEP “That could be true of a hockey stick or a golf club, just as much as it could be of a hurl”.