Alliance councillor warned of threat

Published Tuesday, 04 December 2012
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An Alliance councillor has been advised by police not to return home due to a security risk in the wake of a vote restricting the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall, the party has confirmed.

Alliance councillor warned of threat
Flags were put up at Alliance HQ. (© Pacemaker)

It is understood the councillor was singled out on Twitter over the issue.

News of the threat comes after a loyalist protest was held at the Alliance Party's offices in east Belfast on Tuesday afternoon.

Up to 100 people turned up outside and fixed Union flags and red, white and blue balloons to the front of the building, before later dispersing.

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle insisted his party won't be intimidated.

"Some Unionist representatives and their staff have gone as far as to encourage the protest at Alliance Party constituency offices, despite the serious violence that followed the original protests at City Hall on Monday night," he said.

"This demonstrates a complete disregard for the safety of people, businesses, and the PSNI in east Belfast."

Mr Lyttle added: "People can seek to intimidate my party colleagues and I from doing our job, but we will continue to work on the democratic mandate we have been given to deliver a shared and better future for all in east Belfast."

The latest protest comes after rioting in the city centre, sparked by the passing of a controversial motion to restrict the flying of the flag at Belfast City Hall.

Nationalists wanted to remove it altogether, but the Alliance Party - which holds the balance of power - proposed an amendment to display it on 17 designated days.

Their plan, which follows the accepted protocol on flying the Union flag at Stormont, was backed by 29 votes to 21.

But the decision led to riots involving up to 1,500 loyalists, which resulted in three arrests and 18 people being injured overnight.

Alliance councillors have suggested they would be in favour of a Union flag flying at the cenotaph in City Hall as a compromise.

The DUP are to put forward a proposal in the New Year.

Meanwhile, north Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said that he has received a death threat in the aftermath of Monday night's rioting.

"The threat obviously follows in the aftermath of last night's attack on democracy at the Belfast City Hall by loyalists," he said.

"The people who made the threat should understand that neither I nor any of the other Sinn Féin representatives will be deflected from pursuing equality in the city of Belfast or anywhere else."

© UTV News
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80 Comments
Ken in Finaghy wrote (716 days ago):
I welcome the agreement on the flying of the flag at the city hall.as a Protestant why should any catholic have to feel uncomfortable walking through their city centre having to look at a British flag flying from the city's head quarters.everyone in Ireland,northern Ireland or equal so why should we make a difference on the flying of a flag.do you think Buckingham palace would fly the tricolour for the Irish Catholics living in England,somehow I think not.as for the kids in years to come,what would the problem with them learning and speaking Gaelic,it would make more sense living in Ireland learning that rather than French,Italian,or Spanish.
Andrew in Belfast wrote (716 days ago):
"Robert Goff-Glasby in Bangor wrote (18 hours ago): No, it is not so. Until recently it was illegal to fly the flag of the Irish Republic in Norther Ireland. they have never really given up their illegal claims on the people of the North, only being forced to upon entry into the EU. The people of Northern Ireland are loyal tote crown and British, many being loyal Scots. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm" Brilliant!, you couldn't make this stuff up! That devious old pope with his plans for domination of the protestant people in Ulster!!! Anyway, not to let facts get in the way, but the ROI territorial claim was dropped as part of the Belfast agreement , nothing to do with the EU. Also, 'British' is a collective term for English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish (the part that remained part of the UK after 1921). A bit like 'European'. Strange how scared siege mentality folk here talk about it as if it refers to their ethnicity.
Busdriver Paul in Bangor wrote (716 days ago):
The Flag... ... I don't need a flag to prove I'm Irish or British for that matter too.. I don't need a flag to know who I am so tell me brother why do you?... I don't need a flag to be a father I don't need a flag to be a son.. I don't need a flag to love my family or to enhance all that I've become... I think its sad you define yourself with colours of some cloth taped upon a pole.. Where's the person, the dad, the son, the brother? is there no love stirring in your soul?... This time of year brings out all the little scumbags wether your colours are red, blue, green or gold.. Shouldn't you have left those quarrels in the playground or will you cling to them as you grow old?... I don't need a flag to take my friends out I don't need a flag to prove my love is true.. I don't need a flag to define who I am so tell me my friend, why do you?... -Paul Daniel Rafferty-
the true feelings in belfast wrote (716 days ago):
the real problem is not this flag issue on its own,its just another piece of Protestant Heritage bein dismantled like all the Police stations and band parades and anything British,its all one sided and the Protestant People are starting to see whats realy happening and are now taking a stand in the same way Catholics did using violence and violence does pay in this country unfortunately which is sad,i would like to see Direct Rule brought back as this Government in Storment has done NOTHING good only help to make ordinary Unionits feel left behind and locked out of this better future which was PROMISED for us only set us back 30 years,SHOW US THIS SHARED SPACE AS I CANT SEE IT
Hal in Holywood wrote (716 days ago):
We have just witnessed phase 1 of the self-destruction of the Alliance Party. Phase 2 will be seen in the next elections. What can you expect with a party which in any case is neither one thing nor the other and then shows that its true “alliance” is with those who mischievously insult and try to destroy the heritage of Ulster’s majority and bring us back to the conflicts of the past? Note that this was orchestrated by Belfast City Council a few days before Hilary Clinton’s visit to the Province. While violence is to be condemned, we do not see media criticism of Palestinian violence against Israel or violence against Assad in Syria or Morsi in Egypt, yet Loyalists get blamed while the real source of the trouble is with SF/SDLP, aided and abetted by Alliance. I wonder what would happen if there were a non-violent boycott of Belfast City Council by the refusal of citizens to pay their Council taxes? The coffers would dry up, the Council would collapse, and we would be rid of this crowd of mischief-makers.
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