Man charged as Romanians leave country after Belfast race attacks

Police are also investigating an attack on a church that gave 114 Romanians shelter

A man was charged today with intimidating Romanian people in Belfast, as it emerged that 100 migrants from the country had decided to leave Northern Ireland for good.

Twenty-five Romanians have left and 75 are to return to their home country after racist attacks, Margaret Ritchie, Northern Ireland's development minister, said.

Police are also investigating an attack on a church that gave 114 Romanians shelter last week after they were driven out of their homes.

Shane Murphy, 21, of Belfast, appeared at the city's magistrates court to face charges of intimidation and threatening behaviour. He denied the charges.

Murphy also denied acting provocatively by shouting racist comments at a rally held in the city last week. The magistrate refused a bail application, saying there was a danger Murphy could interfere with witnesses.

On Monday, a 15-year-old boy appeared in court charged in connection with the same incidents. A 16-year-old boy was accused of provocative behaviour at the anti-racism rally.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's public housing authority said it was paying for the families to return to Romania using emergency funds.


Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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