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NI Pastor could be prosecuted over BLM remarks

by Chantalle Edmunds
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Barrie Halliday/Facebook

A pastor charged over a video he posted online calling for Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors to go "home in boats" is waiting to find out if he will be prosecuted over the remarks.

Barrie Halliday, who is from Co Armagh, uploaded the video to his Facebook account in June last year amid BLM protests following the murder of George Floyd in the U.S.

In the footage he denied he was racist but described those attacking statues of political leaders at the time as "on the road to nothing."

"It may have been boats that brought you here three or four hundred years ago and you were brought under duress and against your will, but there's boats sitting there empty at the minute doing nothing.

"You are welcome to get back on them and go back home if you think we're so bad," he said in the video which attracted over 30,000 views before being taken down, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.

Mr Halliday later posted another video on his Facebook page where he confirmed his arrest and insisted he had "no tolerance for racism whatsoever."

He added that he believed "100% that I didn't ignorantly or intentionally say anything that was out of place".

A brief hearing was held at Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday where the matter was adjourned for a final decision at the end of this month.

Mr Halliday's solicitor told the court the matter was being considered at a "senior level" within the Public Prosecution Service.

District judge Eamonn King said a "finally final decision" on the case is to be made 31st June.

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