13 charged over flag riots

Published Saturday, 05 January 2013
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Eleven men and two women charged over rioting in Belfast appeared before a special sitting of the city's Magistrates' Court on Saturday night.

13 charged over flag riots
A PSNI landrover is hit with a petrol bomb in Castlereagh Street. (© Pacemaker)

Twelve people have been charged in connection with serious civil disturbances in the Greater Belfast area on Friday night.

Another man, arrested on Saturday afternoon, has been charged following public disorder in the Newtownards Road area of east Belfast.

Two other men also arrested earlier remain in police custody.

Meanwhile, one man has already appeared before Newtownards Magistrates' Court earlier on Saturday.

Two men have been charged with a number of offences and will appear before the same court later in January.

One man has been charged with disorderly behaviour and will appear before Belfast Magistrates' Court later this month.

Three men aged 15, 17 and 21 have been released on police bail pending further inquiries. Three men also arrested on Friday night remain in custody.

Nine police officers were injured and a total of 19 people were arrested on Friday as trouble erupted amid ongoing loyalist flag protests.

Fireworks, ball bearings, bricks and bottles were also thrown. A PSNI spokesman said crowds of up to 300 people were involved in the rioting.

Eight officers were injured, none of whom are believed to be seriously hurt. However, the PSNI confirmed that one woman police officer required medical treatment at the scene by ambulance.

The majority of the arrests were made in the Beersbridge Road area. Attempts were made in the area to hijack three vehicles.

"Water canon was deployed but was not used," a police statement said.

Three arrests were made in Dundonald after police cleared a protest in the Robbs Road area, close to the Ulster Hospital.

In Newtownabbey, bottles and bricks were thrown at police, resulting in one police officer being hurt.

The unrest, which spanned several hours, occurred in the O'Neill Road area and one person was arrested.

It was reported that an attempt was made to hijack a bus. Commercial premises were broken into by several masked men, who damaged the property and stole a sum of money.

"Police will be seeking further arrests in the coming days in relation to the disorder. Anyone with any information about any of these incidents is asked to contact their local police station on 0845 600 8000," the PSNI statement said.

© UTV News
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48 Comments
jim in the other Newtownabbey wrote (721 days ago):
@Newtownabbey in Newtownabbey...Were you lost? or were you just taking the scenic route to newtownabbey that goes past Short Strand? You should buy a Belfast street plan and you might manage to make it home after a peaceful protest and not have to deal with any nasty nationalists or big, bad policemen.
Don Fleming in ards wrote (721 days ago):
Nothing has changed, and nothing will ever change, simply because both sides thrive on trouble, they know nothing else, and never will. They are bigots, and full of hatred. Take them all to a small island somewhere on the moon, and let the descent folks get on with their lives.
Duffy in Dungannon wrote (721 days ago):
If unionist politicians where as fair ,honest and straight talking like the alliance party, NI would be a better place to be ,I don't normally vote but next election ill definitely be voting alliance.
S.B. in Belfast wrote (721 days ago):
Dry your eyes Matt and get real. This anarchy and violence is NOTHING to do with Britishness; it is base sectarianism of the worst kind. The Union flag will still fly on 20 odd days a year at Belfast City Hall while 95% of the artefacts and symbols within the City Hall are STILL Unionist and British; you can count the Irish Nationalist symbols within City Hall on one hand. This is all about Unionism and Loyalism harking back to the good old days when the Fenians were kept in the place by the Special Powers Act and a paramilitary Unionist police force. This is about Unionists completely refusing to accept parity of esteem and equality for Catholics and wanting back their priviliged position and Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people. Well my friend that is NEVER going to happen again so your community should save itself a lot of trouble and wasted effort in trying to hold back the winds of change by accepting the Belfast City Council vote and embracing the British democracy you all say you want to be part of or are the only laws Unionists hold to the ones they chose to break themselves? Hypocrisy how are you?
Matt in East Belfast wrote (721 days ago):
I go to these protest as a British citizen and I do not break the law at all. In regards to the protestors being lower class and " Neanderthals " and uneducated. Well that is not true at all. I come from a middle class home and my Mother is University educated and I am currently at University. A few other of the fellow protestors possess degrees and professional careers. I am 100% against the violence that starts. Though the PSNI are egging people on to start violence. People can argue here all day via this comment section but that will not change anything. We need to get the young people of East Belfast to think along a political mindset. Sinn Fein is chipping away at anything British in the 6 counties. I feel history is repeating itself. How facetious that it is so. This violence does not represent the majority of law abiding citizens of East Belfast. Could we perhaps point the finger at recreational rioting that is fueled by the PSNI overkill of riot police?
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