City protest organiser to be prosecuted

Published Thursday, 05 December 2013
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The organiser of a loyalist protest held in Belfast city centre at the weekend is to be prosecuted over breaches of a determination made by the Parades Commission, a senior police officer has confirmed.

City protest organiser to be prosecuted
The parade leaves City Hall after midday on Saturday. (© Pacemaker)

The parade passed off largely peacefully outside City Hall on Saturday, but did not comply with times given in a ruling by the watchdog.

"The organiser was spoken to by the Police Service on Monday, two days after the event, and will be prosecuted in relation to offences connected to that," PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said.

An application had been lodged with the Parades Commission ahead of the event, by a group calling itself 'Loyal Peaceful Protesters'.

The request was approved and the go-ahead given for up to 10,000 people to be involved, with the condition that the demonstration would clear the area in front of City Hall by noon.

Police estimated that less people than expected - around 1,000 - initially gathered at City Hall for the demonstration, with numbers swelling to around 3,000.

But a large number of those taking part did not leave the area by the set dispersal time.

Speaking to the Policing Board on Thursday, ACC Kerr added: "There was extensive evidence-gathering in the city centre on Saturday.

"We will continue to study that and more prosecutions will follow."

Two police officers were later injured - including one who was knocked unconscious - when the protest reached the junction of Tennent Street and the Crumlin Road.

One man was arrested in connection with the incident.

© UTV News
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56 Comments
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (130 days ago):
Interesting, Taxi Paul. All that venom towards the GAA and a language of all things. You seem content with, and actually advocate, the suppression of themuns to the benefit of one half of the community. I say one half but it is actually a lot less going by the turn out at the last uncivil demands march in Belfast. No mention of the little party with UFOs on the glorious twelfth then? Obviously it's only themuns that are uppity and only themuns that should be persecuted. Again I will ask the blatant question. What rights have been breached? Has anyone bothered to test this nonsense theory through the judicial system? Oh, and before you start rhythming off nonsense, let's also consider the rights of themuns to test your submissions. As for St Patrick's day, why should the twelfth be promoted over it? As in all occasions, where the law has been breached, the law must be enforced or do you advocate that the law is only unjust when it is applied to anybody but themuns?
Davy McFaul in South Derry wrote (131 days ago):
Okay Taxi Paul, before I deal with the substantive issues of your comment let me make a few corrections: I hadn’t perceived you as a loyalist or anything else, (I can’t speak for the others), but after reading your response that opinion may change. I can perfectly see the difference between various groups, (even if they sometimes do overlap), and knew that this particular parade wasn’t an OO parade that’s why I used the ‘OO/ marchers’ slash. Now . . . WOW!! Now that the apocryphal suggestion regarding marching and the ECHR has been exposed the mask slips and you launch into a lengthy ‘themmuns’ diatribe containing ‘bigotry & hatred coming from the Nationalist community’ ,ethnic cleansing, cultural cleansing, Bobby Sands, the ‘extermination of unionist culture and demanding it be replaced with Irish culture and values at every opportunity’, St Patrick’s Day, the Irish language, the GAA, students in the Holylands etc – Phew!. But now that the spurious allegation of rights being denied has been proven to be rubbish and the real motivation to your opposition of the Parades Council etc has been unmasked by your protracted MOPE at least the debate can now be had on honest terms. The fact of the matter is that less than 3% of marches are contentious and the flag at Belfast City Hall brings it into line with the legislative requirements of the other constituent parts of the UK. Please tell me how this constitutes erosion of ‘rights’ / Britishness?. Also, if the Parades Commission is disbanded who will arbitrate on contentious marches? The PSNI? And will the OO – P/U/L community be screaming for their disbandment when a determination goes against them?
realistic in planet earth wrote (131 days ago):
@Taxi Paul, i agree with all that you say. only to add that it is the extremists on each side which spoil it for the vast majority of us here who only want a normal society to live in. i don't care for religion, flags, a united ireland, british rule, paramilitaries, gangsters, drug dealers - none of any of that will give us a peaceful time here......
Trisha in Toronto Canada wrote (131 days ago):
How can it be a civil or human rights issue when they get to fly their flag the same as other parts of the UK. Looks to me like they just want to cause trouble in Belfast City. The leaders should be charged as an example that the authorities will not allow anyone to hijack a democrate decision or the peace process.
Jim in B wrote (132 days ago):
To make these unuonists more angry domt you no ot says happy xmas in irish above thr city hall haha
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