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I will battle match ban and I'm no hooligan -- Hoops fan

A Shamrock Rovers fan who was banned from attending soccer matches for two years after being convicted of charging at a garda cordon has said he will appeal the ruling. William Moore (20) will be jailed for a month if he sets foot at a soccer match anywhere in the country because of his behaviour, a judge ruled.

William Moore (20) will be jailed for a month if he sets foot at a soccer match anywhere in the country because of his behaviour, a judge ruled.

Dublin District Court was told that Moore, a father-of-one of Knockmore Park, Tallaght, had encouraged a group of 20 other Shamrock Rovers fans to join him in running at the gardai, who were separating them from Bohemians fans outside Tallaght Stadium.



Jogging

He also pointed and shouted abuse at the rival supporters in full view of gardai.

Moore was convicted of causing a breach of the peace in the incident on April 9 this year.

He denied the charge, claiming he was only "jogging" across the road to get to the match because it was about to start.

Speaking to the Herald today, Moore said: "I'm not missing out on matches over something I didn't do."

"I'm only one person, why would I go running at a garda line?" he added. "Just because you support a team doesn't make you a hooligan."

Judge William Early said he was suspending the sentence only on the condition that Moore observes the ban, and that he wanted a message to go out that violence at sporting events would not be tolerated.

Sgt Joseph O'Connor told Dublin District Court he was on duty escorting people from the Luas terminal to the stadium at 7.40pm.

Away fans were entering one stile system, with home fans entering the far stiles.

Gardai were standing between the two queuing sets of supporters.

"The defendant pointed at the Bohemians fans and made an arm gesture, calling on people. A group of 20 ran towards the garda inspector and three gardai," the sergeant said.

The accused increased speed as he approached the garda line and the sergeant grabbed him by the hood.

"I tried to make him aware of the threat to security, but he seemed to have no comprehension of this," the sergeant said.

Garda Richard Cloonan said the accused shouted abuse and threats at the opposing fans and had the demeanour of "a man who wanted to fight".

The accused was arrested.

In evidence, he told the court he was jogging across the road to get to the stadium and did not call anyone else. He said there was only a small group of people there at the time. A defence witness, Sinead O'Connor, corroborated his version of events.

Judge Early said it was not a case where the accused was merely reckless but said there was intent to provoke the breach of the peace.



Behaviour

"This is a very serious offence and in other jurisdictions, fatalities have resulted from the sort of behaviour that Mr Moore has been convicted of," Judge Early said.

He suspended the sentence for two years on condition that the defendant is of good behaviour and does not attend a soccer match "in this jurisdiction" in that time.

When asked by the defendant's solicitor to clarify order, the judge said: "In the entire country, the 26-county State."


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