Off-duty British soldiers are reported to have been banned from all bars in Ballymena, Co Antrim, where Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen was murdered a fortnight ago.

British military chiefs imposed the night-time curfew in a bid to ease sectarian tensions.

Local SDLP Councillor, Declan O'Loan, described the move as a wise decision.

'Anyone caught in the pubs after 7pm will have the book thrown at them,' one source said.

Michael, 15, was beaten to death in a gang assault which has traumatised Ballymena.

Six local teenagers have been charged with the murder.

The St Patrick's College pupil was cornered and attacked with baseball bats after being chased through the town early on 7 May.