Missiles thrown in Ballymena disorder

Published Thursday, 06 December 2012
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Two people have been arrrested after missiles were thrown at police officers during trouble which broke out following a flag protest in Ballymena.

Missiles thrown in Ballymena disorder
Loyalist protesters pictured blocking the Antrim Road in north Belfast (© Pacemaker)

Police dealt with minor disorder in the Co Antrim town. A PSNI spokeswoman said one officer received minor injuries.

Two police vehicles, two privately-owned vehicles and a shop window were also damaged during the trouble.

A 16-year-old youth and a 25-year-old man have been arrested and are being questioned by police.

Earlier around 150 people gathered at the Town Hall in the Linenhall Street area to express their anger after the flying of the Union flag was restricted at Belfast City Hall.

TUV leader Jim Allister attended the protest.

Most of the crowd later dispersed and only a small number remained in the area when disturbance erupted.

Police said they liaised with local community representatives in their efforts to restore calm.

Local Area Commander Chief Inspector John Magill said it was "encouraging the protest itself was largely peaceful".

He said police will be actively pursuing those who were involved in the disorder and an inquiry team has been established.

Earlier on Thursday a number of people gathered in the Antrim Road area of Glengormley and outside the Alliance Party offices in east Belfast, causing traffic disruption to motorists.

Two men aged 27 and 21 have been charged with a number of public disorder offences in connection with the protest and are due to appear before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Friday.

First Minister Peter Robinson has called for an immediate end to violence over the issue of flags and the suspension of street protests, in order to prevent peaceful demonstrations being hijacked.

© UTV News
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8 Comments
steven in belfast wrote (686 days ago):
dont agree with violence at protests but what do you expect. the mindset of the protestant people is that nationists have got their way thru violence ie ardoyne so we will go down that road because peaceful protests dont work
Mike in Belfast wrote (686 days ago):
Unionism need to get their house in order. They are looking like simple fools over this whole incident. What an embarrasment. Losing massive moderate support by the day.
tracey in south derry wrote (686 days ago):
why are these protests still going on days after the decision has been made.Get over it and move on and stopping behaving like spoilt children.Its almost christmas and if these protests keep going on someone is going to be seriously injuried or killed.WISE UP.
Ciaran in Derry City wrote (687 days ago):
To end all this trouble. Would the answers to everyones problems not be to place the union flag and irish flag up together. This would be a unite northern ireland and show tourists this aswell coming to northern ireland and also i think people would accept this quicker?
andy in belfast wrote (687 days ago):
Obviously, here should be no violence erupting from these protests but what other way is there to get the point across and be heard that we are not happy with the way things are being done? The taking down of OUR NATIONAL FLAG is a disgrace. Another things, a politician has called for the Royal Victoria Hospital to be renamed and other things linking NI to the monarchy to be changed? This is a disgrace. They say they are doing this for a better country but they are making it worse. Disgrace
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