THE prankster convicted of hate crimes after releasing a viral video in which he trains his dog to Sieg Heil to the phrase "gas the Jews" has clashed with Father Ted writer Graham Linehan after being accused of being a Nazi.

Mark Meechan who is considering an appeal after being found guilty at Airdrie Sheriff Court of communicating a video which was deemed to be "grossly offensive" compared his video to the Are Your Right There Father Ted? episode in which the main character of the classic comedy ends up in a room full of Nazi memorabilia.

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After the verdict, the 30-year-old appeared on the controversial right-wing US media show Info Wars – hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – alongside English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.

The row began when Mr Linehan, an Irish TV comedy writer who wrote and directed The IT Crowd, proclaimed on social media after the verdict that "the guy is alt-right".

READ MORE: Video: Comedy stars back Scots 'Nazi dog' film maker found guilty of hate crime

And added: "This is what they do, sneak fascism and hatred in under the guise of irony . I don’t think he could go to jail, but I’m happy the court saw through it.

"Maybe, need to know more about the case. But also dangerous is the alt-right telling lonely young men that they’re comedy geniuses by finding ways of saying 'gas the Jews' repeatedly."

But Meechan, who releases videos under the name Count Dankula, hit back by posting a screen shot from what some have dubbed the "accidental facist" Father Ted episode.

He said: "The guy who wrote Father Ted constantly screeches on Twitter about how me making Nazi jokes means I am a Nazi. It seems he has forgotten his own history."

He defended his involvement with Mr Robinson to another Facebook users, saying: "Imagine not wanting to support free speech in the UK, just because Tommy Robinson is supporting it.

READ MORE: Free speech row as Scots 'Nazi dog' film maker found guilty of being grossly offensive online

"Imagine totally abandoning protecting human rights, just because someone you dont like is defending them too. Astounding."

Meechan, from Coatbridge, denies being anti-Semitic and insists his 'M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi' video featuring pug Buddha which has been viewed more than three million times was meant as a joke to wind up his girlfriend.

His case has become a cause célèbre amongst some of those who are defending free speech.  

Award-winning comedy writer and performer Ricky Gervais and comedian David Baddiel, who is Jewish, have both spoken in Meechan's defence.

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Mr Linehan, also known for making major contributions to acclaimed comedy series Big Train and Brass Eye, also took to task satircal reporter Jonathan Pie, originally given a platform by the Russian state-owned news service RT, who proclaimed in his own video that Meechan's film was “just a joke.”

Mr Linehan questioned why he did not mention that Meechan "hangs out" with Mr Robinson.

READ MORE: Scots 'Nazi dog' row: "What is funny about talking about killing an entire race"

"In the video, you claim context is important, why didn't you include that context?," he said.

"I won't be convinced he means well until he explains why he cast an alt-right sh*tposter as anti-Nazi...."

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Ephraim Borowski, the director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), said videos like the 'Nazi dog' footage served to "normalise antisemitic views".

READ MORE: Nazi dog debate reaches the House of Commons

Jonathan Pie responded: "Your arguments are truly terrible, Graham. We disagree: that doesn't make me a Nazi apologist."

The Father Ted writer also a linked to an article which he said was "about how the Far Right uses irony and 'comedy' as a delivery system for white nationalism and antisemitism".

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He also linked to another piece on how the "far right is using free speech as a wedge issue".

He added: "People falling for it, stop falling for it!"

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While on Info Wars, Mr Jones told Meechan that he had been "defamed" and that the video was "better than John Cleese and Charlie Chaplin".

Sheriff Derek O'Carroll found Meechan guilty of a charge under the Communications Act of posting a video which was “anti-Semitic and racist in nature” and was "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".  He is due to be sentenced next month.

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