PROTEST AT ALLIANCE HQ AS LOYALISTS STEP UP UNION FLAG ROW

Loyalist protestors outside Alliance HQ on Wednesday

LOYALISTS have stepped up their Union Flag campaign by protesting outside the headquarters of the Alliance Party.

It follows a decision on Monday night by councillors to vote by 29 votes to 21 to only fly the Union flag on Belfast City Hall on 17 designated days of the year.

It was a compromise motion put forward by Alliance councillor Marie Hendron after nationalists wanted the flag removed completely from the building.

As a result of Monday night’s trouble police have arrested three people.

Police are questioning an 18-year-old on suspicion of riotous behaviour and possessing a petrol bomb in Clandeboye Street, a 17-year-old suspected of rioting on the Albertbridge Road, and a 22-year-old accused of assault and doing a provocative act in Donegal Square.

On Tuesday afternoon, around 100 loyalists gathered outside the Alliances offices in east Belfast as part of the protest campaign.

The protestors have hung a Union flag on the building and erected red, white and blue balloons.

Monday night’s decision sparked riots involving up to 1,500 loyalists, which resulted in three arrests and 18 people being injured overnight.

Alliance councillors have suggested they would be in favour of a Union flag flying at the cenotaph in City Hall.

The DUP are to put forward a proposal in the New Year.

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