Ball thrown at nurse during flag protest

Published Saturday, 16 February 2013
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A nurse had a ball thrown at her car as she made her way to work passing a flag protest in Garvagh, Co Londonderry.

Ball thrown at nurse during flag protest
Protests have been ongoing since December. (© Pacemaker)

Police received report of the incident on Friday night and confirmed the car was not damaged.

Local Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín said the PSNI need to do more to protect motorists and pedestrians during flag demonstrations after he received report that a stone had been thrown.

"While I recognise the right to peaceful protest it is clear that many of these flag protests have been illegal or had violence and intimidation associated with them," Mr Ó hOisín said.

"I have been in contact with the local PSNI Commander to register my anger and disgust at how this woman travelling to her work was treated while PSNI officers looked on.

"The PSNI have a responsibility to combat illegal activity and protect citizens going about their lawful business yet there are many examples of them abdicating their responsibility during the ongoing flag protests and this is not acceptable.

"I will be expecting answers from the PSNI and guarantees that they will tackle crime no matter from where it emanates."

Police did not confirm if stones had been thrown at any vehicles during the demonstration.

It is understood protestors did not block the roads.

PSNI have previously stated that obstructing the road is an offence and that anyone who endangers someone else's safety during the pickets is also causing an offence.

"Individuals have the right to peaceful, lawful protest, in line with the Human Rights Act. Police will act appropriately to ensure that there is no unnecessary disruption caused to the public by such protest," a PSNI spokesperson said.

Loyalist flag protests have been held across the region since a Belfast City Council vote in December to reduce the number of days the Union flag flies at City Hall.

The Ulster People's Forum said last month they were changing strategy from road blocks to legal white line pickets, but added that they did not represent all those protesting.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
17 Comments
alan in belfast wrote (618 days ago):
happy face there was no injuries no damage to the car and you want the person locked up i think you are the fool do you work for utv because your comment is pure sensationalist as well lol fool fool fool
John in Creggan wrote (619 days ago):
Just a ball no big beal but it highlights a certin amount of indiscipline amoung protesters, this nurse may have thought this was the start of a riot. I've passed many of Republican white line protests in Derry. They are held in daylight & are none threatning people passing such protests may go home & inform themselves about the protest the protest may have gained another supporter but if a car is attacked or drivers feel threatened your argument however valid is lost.
realistic in planet earth wrote (619 days ago):
well said 'fed up', well said. I don't care who protests about what, but keep it peaceful and let others get on with their lives!
Gareth in London wrote (619 days ago):
For pete's sake, will both sides stop this bloody stupidity! I've been over in Britain for 10 years now, and they do nothing but laugh about this craziness over here, it's seen as one big joke - "oh look, the Irish are at it again"! All these unionist protests (and the sensationalist reporting and nationalist responses) are a load of rubbish - all over a stupid flag? Who cares? People of the world have real problems to deal with!!
Mark in NI wrote (619 days ago):
We have special republican support for nurses all of a sudden! But wait, wasn't it a nurse's car that was hijacked while attending a sick pensioner, set on fire and pushed at police lines in Ardoyne last July? No, dont be silly, we just dreamed that... No excuse for attacking nurses, BY EITHER SIDE, so get off your high horses!
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