Man appears in court charged with causing criminal damage to poppy wreaths at Ballymena War Memorial

The aftermath of the incident at the War Memorial.

A 27-year-old man charged with causing criminal damage in relation to an incident at Ballymena War Memorial on Friday night when poppy wreaths were burned has been remanded in custody.

Che Donnelly


Che Donnelly, with an address listed as Princes Street in Ballymena, appeared in the dock in handcuffs at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The defendant’s legal firm emailed the court saying that given the coronavirus pandemic they would not be present.

A court clerk said the email from the law firm said they had “no instructions to apply for bail”.

The defendant has yet to enter either a guilty or not guilty plea.

District Judge Peter King remanded the defendant in custody to appear at Laganside Magistrates Court in Belfast on Tuesday March 24 via video link.

The court was told the defendant had other matters already listed for that date in Belfast.

On Saturday police in Ballymena said they were investigating an incident of criminal damage to wreaths on the night of Friday 20 March.

A PSNI spokesperson had said on Saturday: “Shortly before 11pm police received a report that 5 poppy wreaths that had been placed at the War Memorial on Galgorm Road had been set on fire. The wreaths were destroyed as a result of the incident. Police are treating this incident as a sectarian motivated hate crime.”

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