Man charged after Belfast protest

Published Saturday, 26 January 2013
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A 42-year-old man has been charged with a number of public order offences following a loyalist flag protest in east Belfast.

Man charged after Belfast protest
A protest at City Hall passed off peacefully. (© Pacemaker)

He was detained in the Bloomfield Avenue area, close to the Connswater shopping centre, on Saturday afternoon.

He has been charged with two counts of assaulting police, disorderly behaviour, obstructing traffic in a public place and three counts of resisting police.

He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Monday. As is normal procedure all charges will be reviewed by the PPS.

An ambulance was called to the scene of the arrest.

Officers confirmed medical assistance was sought but no medical assistance was required.

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson has criticised the PSNI over the man's arrest, describing it as "totally unacceptable".

He has called for a meeting with Chief Constable Matt Baggott.

"I've seen the footage of the incident and was shocked by it," said Mr Hutchinson.

"When arresting someone police officers have to take action that is both reasonable and proportionate. Based on what I've seen, I would say that this appears to be neither.

"I'm asking to meet with the Chief Constable to discuss this incident and the police response in general. There has been a lot of talk recently about the police being more affirmative in responding to the flag protests, but this appears to be totally unacceptable."

However police have defended their handling of the arrest.

A PSNI statement said: "Police were managing a protest in the Newtownards Road/Bloomfield Avenue area of Belfast when they arrested a 42-year-old male for resisting arrest, assault on police, obstruction of a public road and disorderly behaviour.

"The Police response to this arrest was appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances."

It is understood police also came under attack from missiles from the crowd.

A PSNI spokeswoman said the matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland (PONI) for investigation.

Earlier a flag protest at Belfast City Hall passed off without incident.

Meanwhile police in Newtownabbey have made one arrest when dealing with "minor disorder" in the Cloghfern Corner area on Saturday night.

Police said calm has been restored and all roads have re-opened.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
77 Comments
realistic in planet earth wrote (444 days ago):
Oke dokie William,you're getting very defensive there, but still no definition of your 'culture', :). I ain't hateful fella, I'm realistic.... The loyalist/unionist is going the way of the dinosoaurs, the love affair you have with the British is one sided, you have nothing to offer, nothing to bring to the table, the moderates on BOTH sides WILL end up enjoying this beautiful country William, probably not in our lifetimes, but it will happen :)
william in coleraine wrote (445 days ago):
put it this way and im not calling you by your name because its an not an accurate discription of you, your talking about an entire community and attacking it as hateful you are a bigoted and sectarian
realistic in planet earth wrote (445 days ago):
William, William, William.... The twelth of July?? Is that it? Is that your culture? A battle in 1690, on ground that is now IRISH? Hahahaha. Wise up! William- you know NOTHING about me personally, maybe I'm one of the two main religions in NI, maybe I'm not, maybe I'm in favour of staying under British rule, maybe I'm not! What I asked was WHAT is the loyalist/unionist culture? Still waiting on that! The poster who said the loyalist/unionist community is going nowhere has hit the nail on the head- nowhere! :) here's a thought, world war one and two the Germans were defeated- does the rest of Europe lord it over them, and ignore them, atagonise them? Think on.......
Michael H in Belfast wrote (445 days ago):
Funny Henry in North of Ireland I done exactly the same thing and typed Loyalist/Unionist culture into google and got 2,140,000 results. You sure your computer even has google???
realistic in planet earth wrote (445 days ago):
can anyone explain it to me?
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