Published Monday, 02 September 2013
Belfast Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir protected by police in north Belfast. (© UTV)
Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was attacked by a loyalist crowd at a park in the north of the city last month.
He had to be shielded from protestors by police as he officially opened a children's park in north Belfast.
Protestors had gathered at Woodvale Park in the Shankill area and shouted abuse at the mayor as he was surrounded by officers trying to ensure his safety.
Nine PSNI members were injured during the scuffles, sustaining cuts and bruises.
Damage was also caused to his official vehicle when missiles were thrown by the crowd.
He had been attending the event to plant a tree and mark the spending of a £2m investment by Belfast City Council and the Department of Social Development (DSD).
On Monday evening at a meeting of Belfast City Council, Sinn Féin planned to put forward a motion condemning the attack and supporting the Lord Mayor's right to carry out civic duties in any part of the city.
But at the last minute, following a round of talks, they formally withdrew that motion and entered an alternative motion which was supported by all the parties.
It refers to all the violence of the summer and contains a commitment to show leadership.
Sinn Féin councillor Jim Mc Veigh explained: "There was agreement that all the parties would be prepared to condemn the despicable attack upon the mayor a couple of weeks ago here in Belfast - and for all of the parties to recommit themselves to the principles of equality and mutual respect."
He said that in order to facilitate this, Sinn Féin agreed to amend the motion.
DUP councillor Lee Reynolds described the situation on the streets, in areas like north Belfast, as "very tense".
"It's been progress that we've came together with an agreement," he admitted.
However, he continued saying that "it is easy to pass a motion with fine sounding words" - but making it a reality is the challenge.
© UTV News