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Fan cleared of singing IRA songs at Celtic match because he "didn't understand the lyrics"


Celtic supporters were in full voice in Zagreb last night

Celtic supporters were in full voice in Zagreb last night

Celtic supporters were in full voice in Zagreb last night

A German football fan has been cleared of singing a pro IRA song because he didn’t understand the lyrics.

Twenty-year-old Lucas Tussing was arrested at a Celtic v Kilmarnock match for belting out ‘The Boys Od The Old Brigade’ last March.

The German denied breaching the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act and claimed he did not know what the words meant.

"I didn't know what the words meant but everyone was singing them. In Germany this is no problem,” said Tussing.

PC Adrian Kelly said Tussing was "quite vocal" during the match. "There were others singing but he was the one our attention was drawn to.

"It was televised and we have concerns about singing which can be broadcast on national TV."

PC Kelly also said how he heard Tussing sing The Roll Of Honour, and IRA ballad that celebrates the 10 hunger strikers who died in 1981 and added that he was "singing constantly".

"Mr Tussing was the most vocal. Others were singing further back but he was the closest. I made the match commander aware Roll of Honour was being sung,” said PC Kelly.

Claire McEvinney, prosecuting, said: "Police saw the accused singing constantly. For all the songs he was singing, he clearly knew the words and he accepts he knows such songs.

"It's my submission that people singing about a terrorist organisation would be likely to incite public disorder. He was at the game, he had the scarf on, he was very animated.

"It's within judicial knowledge that there's lots of politics within football, especially Celtic and Rangers. Both the songs are about a terrorist organisation and singing songs about terrorist organisations could cause someone upset, fear and alarm."

But Neal McShane of the defence said: "The Roll of Honour is a song and we've heard no evidence a terrorist organisation is referred to in that song.

"Effectively, it refers to people who were in prison on hunger strike. I will go so far as to say it is not in support of a terrorist organisation but is in support of people who were representing the rights of prisoners. Indeed, one of them became an MP."

McShane added that Tussing was a young man from Germany and "not from the East End of Glasgow, Scotland or even Ireland. The difficulty is we are not dealing with a person of that background. The first officer was surprised she was dealing with a foreign national”.

Sheriff Shirley Foran accepted the accused did not mean to commit a criminal act, and said: "I do not find anything threatening or abusive in Mr Tussing's behaviour.

"In respect of the first charge and in the absence of evidence, I have doubts of the likelihood of inciting public disorder and by virtue of these doubts I find Mr Tussing not guilty."

Outside the court, Tussing stressed that he will never attend another Celtic match again.

H/T Balls.ie

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