#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Two men fined for posting anti-Catholic messages on Facebook

The crimes were reported by Sinn Féin Assembly Member Daithí McKay.

Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO MEN WERE convicted and fined by a Coleraine court yesterday for posting sectarian remarks on Facebook last year.

The crimes were initially reported by Sinn Féin’s Daithí McKay after he spotting the posts on the social networking site.

The two men, named in the courts as Matthew McKenna and Dean Boyd, pleaded guilty to writing the messages last August – at the height of the loyalist marching season.

According to the Irish News, the 20- and 21-year-old were fined £250 and £400 respectively.

McKay tweeted yesterday that the judge “made clear” that any repetition of the acts would result in jail-time.

The North Antrim MLA said that one of the men was convicted for making the statement, “Kill all Taigs”, while the other said to “put a bullet” in each resident from Rasharkin.

A recent Freedom of Information request has brought up some interesting aspects of what are quickly becoming known as Facebook or Twitter crimes.

In fact, there is no offence category which directly relates to the social networking sites so they take much longer to identify so complete data is not available.

Although a full answer could not be retrieved in relation to how many crimes in which Twitter or Facebook were mentioned, details for 2010 and 2011 were released.

Twitter was mentioned in 12 offence logs in 2011 but Facebook was mentioned 930 times in the same year. That is a jump from just 62 in 2010.

Last month, a Swansea University student who wrote a number of controversial tweets about the Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba after he suffered a near-fatal cardia arrest was sentenced to 56 days in prison.

In America, a marine sergeant was denied a request in the courts yesterday as he tried to block discharge proceedings which were taken by the military after he criticised President Barack Obama on Facebook.

Student sentenced over offensive Muamba tweets>

Read next: