Wonder what you reckon to this?
A 31-year-old chef convicted of posting a menacing message about DUP MP Gregory Campbell on Facebook has been fined £500 and given a suspended jail term. Darryl O’Donnell a father of two from Belvedere Park, Londonderry, posted that Mr Campbell “should get a bullet in the head”. It followed comments attributed to Mr Campbell in June of last year about the Saville report into Bloody Sunday. O’Donnell was given a five month jail sentence suspended for three years. In his sentencing at Londonderry Magistrates Court, District Judge Barney McElholm said Mr Campbell was entitled to state his opinion whether or not people agreed with what he said. The district judge said O’Donnell’s comments were menacing and offensive and should not have been posted on Facebook.
I do, for one. I value the right to tell people what they may not want to hear. In this instance, the accused behaved in an obnoxious and offensive manner. But is it right to suppress opinion? Did he literally want to kill Campbell?If so, fair enough to sentence him. But my concern lies beyond the actions of this fool O’Donnell. I worry about our freedom of expression. Over the years, I have had some very offensive and indeed threatening comments left for me. Some you see, some you don’t. My stance is to ban who leaves them from commenting on my site but they are welcome to comment anywhere else they want. I hate draconian measures and this case feels like it may have consequences. So with all due respect M’lud, I don’t agree with you. And Gregory, you are happy to sit in power with those who put actual bullets through people’s brains so stop being such a little hypocrite on this issue. Or is that too offensive?