ROADS in Belfast city centre have reopened on Saturday afternoon following a peaceful Union flag protest.
The PSNI had earlier warned motorists of disruptions as hundreds of loyalists made their weekly pilgrimage to Belfast City Hall to protest over a council decision to only fly the flag on desiganted days.
Loyalists marched to City Hall from the east of the city on Saturday morning, with a number of diversions put in place for motorists.
They were addressed by former British National Party fundraiser Jim Dowson and TUV leader Jim Allister.
The protest has since ended and all roads have been reopened.
A heavy police presence was put in place in the city centre ahead of Saturday’s demonstration.
Protests have been ongoing since the change in policy regarding the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall back in December.
Violence has marred demonstrations on a number of occasions and serious disruption has been caused by the blocking of roads.
Earlier this week, the Ulster People’s Forum – which was established in response to the continuing dispute – announced a change in strategy and their intention to see roadblocks replaced with white line pickets and localised protests outside council offices to coincide with monthly meetings.
“If people wish to continue to protest at City Hall, that’s their right to do that – as long as they don’t engage in acts of violence,” said spokesperson Jamie Bryson.
On Saturday afternoon following the city hall protest, loyalists held a ‘white line’ protest in Bryson Street off the Albertbridge Road.