A NUMBER of people have been injured and taken to hospital following the ramming of protestors on the streets of Northern Ireland.
In Lisburn, teen youths were arrested in the Longstone street area of Lisburn on Monday night after serious public disorder.
In Carrickfergus, protestors stormed the townhall during a council meeting and threatened a number of councillors.
Alliance councillor Sean Neeson said he and other councillors at Carrickfergus town hall were “subjected to sectarian abuse by four flag protesters”.
Colleague Noel Williams said the protestors carried out a “full frontal attack on democracy”.
Said the councillor: “They managed to enter the Council Chamber unhindered without facing any opposition and once inside subjected Councillors to verbal abuse, banging on desks and chairs with implements leaving many feeling threatened.
“It is unacceptable that the Town Hall was not under police surveillance, especially as violence has broken out at previous protests,” he said.
“People have a right to protest peacefully, but this incident tonight put many people’s safety at risk and must not be tolerated. We live in a democratic society and Councillors were meeting tonight as part of this process
“The Alliance Party has consistently called for protests like these to stop, letting politicians unite as they find a way forward. In the run up to Christmas it is local businesses and the community at large that are suffering.”
In east Belfast, missiles were thrown at police on the Lower Newtowarnds Road in east Belfast after protests initially passed off peacefully.
The PSNI said officers dealt with disorder on the Lower Newtownards Road and had come under attack from a crowd of approximately 200 people.
PUP prisons spokesman Ken Wilkinson has arrived in the Pitt Park area in an effort to ease tensions and restore calm to the area.
Police now say the crowd has now dispersed and the Lower Newtownards Road is re-opened.
A police officer has been injured during trouble in Sandy Row, South Belfast after they came under attack with missiles and paint bombs. A number of water cannon vehicles have been moved into the area.
Loyalists claimed the trouble in sandy row was caused by police “battoning” and 11-year- old-girl.
They claim that when her friends went to help they were “beat and arrested”.
Around 10pm on Monday, the PSNI said the area was now quiet and roads re-opened.
In Carrickfergus, customers were locked into the Tesco store during what has been described as a “mini riot” with protestors attacking police.
Protestors accused the PSNI of being very “heavy handed” with a teenage youth outside the Tesco store and a police jumped forward at a disabled person.
The area around the store was littered with bins and a PSNI water cannon has moved into the area which is now said to be quiet.
It is claimed protestors at Lanark Way came under attack from nationalist youths before police move in.
There were reports of rioting in Portadown. Fireworks have thrown at police lines and an attempt by protestors to reach Garvaghy Road have been stopped by PSNI officers in riot uniform.
A man was taken to hospital after he was struck by a 4 X 4 vehicle on the Northway, Portadown during a protest.
Loyalists claim the vehicle was deliberately driven at the man. His condition is not known at present.
In north Belfast, a Tesco van drover through a protest in the Oldpark area. Police Tactical Support Group (TSGs) were sent into the area.
In Monkstown, south east Antrim another protestor was said to have been rammed.
Police also responded to reports of rioting in the Belvoir area and around 20 landrovers were sent to the Highfield/Springmartin areas of west Belfast.
The PSNI came under attack on the Crumlin Road/Oldpark Road. One man told Belfast Daily: “We are in the middle of a mini riot.
“Protestors are playing cat and mouse with the police. The crowd is now heading to the interfaces on the Oldpark Road/Cliftonpark Avenue with police in pursuit.”
Police are reporting that Oldpark Road, Crumlin Road and Cambrai Street are now quiet however, officers will remain in the area.
In Belfast City Centre, Hope Street was closed between Sandy Row and Great Victoria Street.
Police say a 25-year-old man has been arrested in the Bruce Street area on public order offences during a protest.
Officers are also monitoring a protest taking place outside the Alliance Party offices on the Upper Newtownards Road in the east of the city.
The Shore Road was closed for a time at the junction of Mount Vernon Road, while up to 200 people took part in a protest at Sandy Row.
The Crumlin Road at Hesketh Park has also been affected by demonstrations – as has Station Road in Whiteabbey.
In Derry/Londonderry, the Glendermott Road into the city has been blocked at Rossdowney Road.
Coleraine town, Broughshane village and Ballyclare town centre at Rashee Road are also blocked.
Motorists in any affected areas are urged to seek alternate routes.
Earlier PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Dave Jones said police were aware of a number of planned protests and that officers were determined to do everything they could “to ensure people can go about their normal business”.
He added: “People have a right to go about their daily lives, to shop and to socialise, to pick up their children on time and get home to their families without being held up by these protests.”