JAMIE BRYSON BANNED FROM IRISH CUP FINAL

Jamie Bryson banned by court from attending Irish Cup final on Saturday

Jamie Bryson banned by court from attending Irish Cup final on Saturday

ULSTER People’s Forum spokesman Jamie Bryson has been banned from attending the Irish Cup football final.

It followed fears it could lead to the Union flag protestor breaching his bail conditions, a court was told.

Bryson had hoped to go to the match between Glentoran and Cliftonville.

But on Friday, a judge at Belfast Magistrates’ Court ruled going to the game could put the 23-year-old’s bail at risk.

Thousands of supporters are expected to flock to Windsor Park in south Belfast to attend Saturday’s final.

However, there is some controversy surrounding the match, after the IFA decided not to play the national anthem beforehand.

Bryson, of Rosepark in Donaghadee, is currently on bail charged with offences connected to the ongoing flag dispute.

Police opposed his application amid concerns protests could be staged at the ground over the decision not to play the national anthem before the match.

They argued that such an event would lead to Bryson being in breach of another condition not to go within a mile of any public demonstration.

Bryson’s lawyer told the court that his client would be bussed in and out of the stadium immediately after the game.

Richard McConkey said: “I asked him if there were to be a protest at Windsor Park how would he react. He said ‘I would leave’.”

District Judge Austin Kennedy accepted Bryson genuinely wanted to be at the match.

“That’s what happens, that’s the nature of sport, people want to attend finals,” he said.

However, the judge denied the request because of the potential threat of any trouble breaking out.

He added: “There is the issue of public order and the maintenance of public order given the current climate surrounding the issue of the union flag protests, regarding the issue of the national anthem tomorrow and because police have information there will be a protest.

“On balance I’m not prepared to take the risk at this stage.”

Bryson shook his head as he walked from the courtroom following the refusal.

 

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