The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) fined Newry man Thomas Martin after he refused to stop singing the Fields of Athenry back in 2020.
Martin, 19, allegedly kept singing the beloved Irish ballad to police officers after he was arrested for resisting and obstructing police in June 2020.
After appearing in front of the Newry magistrate via video link in February 2021, the presiding judge handed down the fine of £610 ($833), and also said he hoped the teen's time in a young offender's center might inspire him to learn all the words of the song, "Fields of Athenry."'
While the chorus is well known and has become a world-famous Irish song, it seems the teen did know the verses.
The Sunday World reports that Martin, of Parkhead Crescent, had been mixing with a number of older males and drinking in public, on June 5, 2020.
The police reported that when approached, Martin became "obnoxious" and began repeatedly singing "The Fields of Athenry." He continued to sing even when he was warned by police. He was eventually arrested.
The defendant's lawyer, Ciaran Downey, told the court that Martin has spent his life in care and had no family.
Downey said: "I have seen the body-worn camera footage. He (Martin) became involved in something that had nothing to do with him.
“A bit of bravado, showing his youth. The incident was more of a drunken struggle rather than any real intent.
“He has one similar record from last year. He had previously moved to Portstewart to take up some work. He was then held on remand in another matter.”
The song "The Fields of Athenry" tells the story of a young man from the Athenry area, in County Galway, who had been caught stealing corn to feed his family during the Irish famine years, and was deported to Australia.
In response to the singing of "Fields of Athenry," Judge Eamonn King said: “Does he know it well? He might in Hydebank [ a young offenders center] learn the entire lyrics to the song.
“He can then sing it with the correct reflection of the sentiments contained in the song.”
In case you need a reminder of "The Fields of Athenry," here it is:
*Originally published in February 2021. Updated in 2022.