Two men are to stand trial accused of rioting during loyalist flag protests earlier this year, a judge has ruled in Belfast.

22-year-old Nicholas Reilly of Copeland Road, Carrickfergus, faces charges connected to street disorder in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim on 30 January.

He is accused of riotous assembly, damaging a police cell van, and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a mallet.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he is alleged to have thrown a concrete brick at a police inspector's head during trouble.

Also appearing at separate preliminary inquiry proceedings was Neil Nabney, 33, with an address at Enler Park Central, Dundonald.

He faces a single charge of riotous assembly in Belfast on 5 January.

At the time violence flared on the streets over a decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at City Hall.

Neither defendant gave evidence or called any witnesses during hearings to establish if they have a case to answer.

Deputy District Judge Bonita Boyd granted a prosecution application for both men to be returned for trials at Belfast Crown Court.

Each of them were released on continuing bail until those hearings get under way.