Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

N.Irish protests peaceful as 'flag' riots subside

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 18 Jan 2013 22:27 GMT
Author: Reuters
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

BELFAST, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Protests in Northern Ireland passed off peacefully for the first Friday night this year after almost six weeks of rioting by pro-British loyalists.

The loyalists have held nightly demonstrations since pro-Irish nationalist councillors voted last month to end a century-old tradition of flying the British union flag every day over Belfast City Hall.

The flag's removal unearthed deep discontent among loyalists, who complain of feeling left behind by political changes since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought an uneasy end to three decades of sectarian conflict that cost some 3,600 lives.

Some protesters turned out in the snow on Friday, but for the fourth consecutive night there was no outbreak of violence. More protests are planned this weekend, including two afternoon rallies outside the city hall in central Belfast.

Fighting broke out on Saturday as mainly Protestant loyalist protesters passed a Catholic nationalist area on their way home from a rally in the city centre.

A small explosive device posted to a senior police officer was intercepted on Friday at a post office in the west of the province, police said.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus