Hundreds attend anti-NI Protocol protest in Ballyclare

Hundreds of loyalists staged a protest against alleged ‘two-tiered policing’ and the Northern Ireland Protocol in Ballyclare last night (Thursday).

Friday, 21st May 2021, 1:05 pm

It followed previous protests across unionist areas of the province over the Irish Sea customs border following Brexit and the perceived failure to prosecute participants in the funeral of senior republican Bobby Storey for potential breaches of Covid regulations.

A post, shared by the organisers on social media ahead of the demonstration, stated: “Massed band parade against the Northern Ireland Protocol and two-tiered policing. All welcome. Bring Union flags.”

Videos and photographs posted online show hundreds of masked protesters in The Square area of the town.

Protesters made their way down Main Street.

Police say they are now reviewing footage taken during the event.

In a statement, North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said: “Police were in attendance at a peaceful but un-notified procession that took place in the Harrier Way area of Ballyclare last night (May 20).

“Organisers of parades are required to give formal notification of their intentions. A number of warnings were given to participants last night and an evidence-gathering operation was in place.

“We will now review all the footage gathered and consider any suspected offences under the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998 or breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.”

A spokesperson for the Parades Commission confirmed that the body had not received notification ahead of last night’s demonstration.

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Click here to read Anti-protocol protest held in Newtownabbey

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