THIS dramatic footage filmed by the News Letter’s Ben Lowry captures the moment when protestors stormed through the gates of Belfast City Hall,
The protestors forced their way into the grounds of City Hall to express their anger at the council vote to fly the Union flag on designated days instead of every day of the year.
Police have confirmed that five officers were injured during the disturbances, two of whom were taken to hospital for treatment.
The PSNI spokesperson also said two security guards from Belfast City Council sustained injuries and said they have received reports that a press photographer was injured.
DUP Councillor Christopher Stalford has condemned those responsible for violence.
“There can be absolutely no excuse for the violence which ensued after the result of the vote on the flying of the Union flag,” he said.
“The violence has distracted from the issue we should be focusing on; the Parties in Belfast City Council who have voted as a block to strip the City Hall of its flag.
“The DUP was seeking the maintenance of Union flag at City Hall and its display in a respectful and dignified manner. My thoughts are with police and Council staff and others caught up in this violence and I wish those who were injured a speedy recovery.
“Those who started this debate should have known from the outset that it would stir up tension and cause division. I trust as they look back on the damaged relationships, costly consultations and energy expended they will realise their focus was wrong. Indeed, all those who supported this stripping away of British identity are just as guilty and foolish.”
According to latest reports loyalists attacked St Matthew’s Church and hi-jacked a bus.