Loyalists plan 10,000-strong protest (UTV)

Loyalists organising a flag protest at Belfast City Hall next month have lodged a fresh application with the Parades Commission, which would see 40 bands, 5,000 participants and 5,000 supporters take to the streets.

A previous application was withdrawn on Sunday evening, but the organisers told UTV that the move was made for the purpose of clarifying the numbers involved.

The group Loyal Peaceful Protesters plans to hold the demonstration on one of the busiest shopping days in the run-up to Christmas – Saturday 30 November.

They had applied to gather at City Hall at 1pm, before marching through Donegall Place, along Royal Avenue and Lower North Street, onto the Shankill Road and then Tennent Street.

The parades watchdog confirmed on Wednesday that a new application has now been received

The route remains unchanged, but the number of supporters which had previously been stated as ‘unknown’ has been added.

The Commission will now determine whether the protest can go ahead lawfully and whether any restrictions will be imposed.

Previously, First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson warned of the damage that protests could cause to the local business community.

Representatives of city centre traders have also expressed concerns.

Protests began last December after a vote was taken to restrict the flying of the Union flag at City Hall to designated days.


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