A 49 year-old year-old man who was arrested in Derry for giving his details to police in Irish has had the case dismissed.
Diarmuid Mac Dúghlas, who is from Finglas in Dublin, had a charge of failing to answer police questions to the best of one's knowledge dropped at Derry Magistrates Court today.
His name was given in court documents as Dermot Douglas.
The alleged offence was said to have taken place in Creggan on March 6 this year.
After the case was dismissed, Mr Mac Dúghlas said it had been a 'farce', wasting his time and money.
"It was a waste of time and money for the state. I was asked today how much it cost; for me it only cost about £200 in diesel backwards and forwards but I have no idea what it cost the British state for what was effectively a farce.
"I was surprised that the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) wanted to go ahead with it.
"The Judge himself on day one said it would not have happened had I been Romanian or Chinese. They were his words and it is very, very true.
"My name is Diarmuid Mac Dúghlas, that's what's on all my identification and my address is in Irish from what's on the street walls. The attitude on the day was as if it was something dirty to take it in Irish, they refused point blank.
"I was standing beside my car and they took the registration and by the time they got me to the Strand Road Station, they had my name, they had my address, they had my date of birth.
"They still decided they were going to go ahead with this and held me overnight in the station and it is disgraceful.
"In the wee small hours two people I can only describe as members of the MI5, because they had a different way about them than the ordinary policeman, came in to have a chat with me about dissident activity in Derry.
"So their attitude was that it was a terrorist offence to speak Irish. I think it's disgraceful.
"It's a sad thing to say but I wasn't surprised but things like this shouldn't happen. It's actually fascism. I had been talking to my son only last week about fascism on the rise.
"You have to be white, male and Protestant to get around in this state and it's a sad state of affairs. Look at the comments made by that pastor and the backing he got from Peter Robinson. It's a fact on the ground that there is still a lot of disdain for Irish culture.
"Police made a big deal about officers speaking Irish, and I did hear one speaking Irish today, but all I did was give my name in Irish."
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