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Ten men appear at court in Ballymena in relation to incidents at Irish Cup quarter-final game between Larne and Coleraine

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BT Coleraine

By – Court Reporter

TEN men appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court today charged in relation to incidents at the recent Irish Cup quarter-final football game between Larne and Coleraine at Inver Park in Larne.

Three are charged with displaying written material which was ‘threatening, abusive or insulting, intending thereby to stir up hatred or arouse fear’.

The three men are also charged with disorderly behaviour in the vicinity of Inver Road, Larne, on March 1 this year.

They are: Adam Lee Rankin (27), of Loguestown Green, Coleraine; Darryl James Stirling (26), of Taylors Row, Coleraine and Rhys Hutchinson (20), of Farranseer Park, Macosquin.

Six men each face one charge of disorderly behaviour at Larne Football Club.

They are Coleraine men – Barry Heggarty (33), of Shell Hill Court; Aaron Knight (25), of Glebe Avenue; David Edgar (23) and Jack Gault (20), both of Dundooan Park; Christopher Robert John Boreland (21), of Lakeside Court; and Matthew Montgomery (20), of Dunboe Gardens, Articlave.

Christopher Cunning (22), of Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney, faces one charge of being disorderly at Inver Road.

Not all defendants could fit into the dock so five stood outside.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Legal representatives had no questions in relation to the defendants being connected to the charges.

A prosecutor said the application was for a four week adjournment.

She said part of the prosecution file includes bodyworn footage from police.

A defence solicitor said CCTV was awaited.

The case was adjourned to May when the defendants are excused from attending.

The charges are related to an Irish Cup match, which Coleraine won 5-3, which had been televised live on BBC2 on Friday March 1.

After the game Coleraine FC issued a statement apologising for what they described as a “display of racist slogans” during the match.

The statement said: “Coleraine FC has always prided itself on being a community club and welcoming to all in our community. The club enjoys support from all sections of the community, from differing faiths and ethnicity. We totally condemn the behaviour of a very small minority of persons at the game on Friday Night at Larne FC.

“Their behaviour, actions and display of racist slogans is not reflective of Coleraine FC or the vast majority of Bannsiders, who displayed great support for the club and added to the spectacle at the ground and on TV.”

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