More than 3,000 people turn out to protest the NI Protocol, prompting police to issue warnings.


More than 3,000 people turn out to protest the NI Protocol, prompting police to issue warnings.

Police have issued a number of warnings to tens of thousands of protesters gathered in west Belfast.

On Thursday evening, loyalists gathered in Woodvale to organize a protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Following that, a parade was held along Shankill Road.

Footage posted to social media earlier this year shows the burning of a united Ireland banner that had been displayed on the nationalist side of the peace wall.

More than 3,000 people, according to police, attended, far above the number authorized to congregate in public under current coronavirus laws.

According to Chief Inspector Darren Fox, police were present at the gathering and unannounced march between 7-8 p.m.

He stated a number of warnings had been issued and that the film acquired would be investigated for any violations of public health regulations.

“Parade/processions organizers are supposed to submit formal notification of their plans, which was unfortunately neither provided or forthcoming,” he stated.

“The numbers were also in excess of what the Public Health Regulations allowed.

“There was an evidence-gathering effort underway. We will now assess all of the material acquired and consider any potential breaches of the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998 and offences under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations NI 2021,” police said.

Paul Maskey, a West Belfast MP, slammed the gathering, which he claimed included masked males.

“The appearance of multiple masked men leading and participating in an unlawful loyalist parade in west Belfast’s Shankill area is menacing and disturbing,” he stated.

“We have seen recent street violence where property has been destroyed, police officers have been injured, and people have been afraid in their homes. Those scenes cannot be repeated.

“The PSNI now need to address this illegal parade and the actions associated with it.

“Those within positions of leadership in political unionism also need to come out and condemn the scenes witnessed tonight, including masked men standing outside a DUP constituency office, and others holdings sinister banners targeting US President Joe Biden.

“Hooded. (This is a short article)


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