Roads blocked in NI flags protest

Thursday 03 January 2013 11.36
Loyalists have been protesting since councillors voted to restrict the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Hall
Loyalists have been protesting since councillors voted to restrict the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Hall

Around 300 loyalists blocked roads in Carrickfergus for a short time this evening in a protest against restrictions to the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Hall.

The crowd gathered at the roundabout between the Albert and Belfast roads before peacefully dispersing after an hour.

Police said some of the protesters covered their faces with scarves to hide their identities.

Bus services in east Belfast were also disrupted due to a flag protest at Woodstock Link, but there were no reports of any disorder.

Loyalists across Northern Ireland have been protesting since councillors in Belfast voted on 3 December to limit the number of days they fly the union flag.

Violence has erupted at some of the pickets.

A number of politicians, including East Belfast MP Naomi Long from the cross-community Alliance Party, were issued with death threats.

There are plans for another demonstration outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday and organisers say they may picket Stormont later this month.

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