Missiles thrown at police during Larne protest

Police came under attack during a loyalist protest in Larne last night (Tuesday).

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 6:46 pm

A stretch of the A8 carriageway was closed for a period too with motorists forced to find an alternative route.

Union flags were visible during the demonstration at the Antiville roundabout area of the port town and one protester carried a ‘Unionists against NI Protocol’ placard. Signs bearing similar messages have been erected in the harbour town previously.

There has been growing anger in unionist community over the Brexit-related protocol amid claims it threatens Northern Ireland’s constitutional position within the union. Concerns have been voiced too over the impact on businesses and consumers since the arrangements were introduced at the start of this year.

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Police at the Antiville roundabout during Tuesday evening's protest. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

During the course of the evening, the PSNI worked with community representatives to calm the situation.

Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said: “Last night, Tuesday, 6 April, at around 7.30pm a number of people began gathering at the Antiville Road roundabout, Larne. This crowd increased to approximately 90 people.

“During this event a number of missiles were thrown at our police vehicles and while none of our officers were injured on this occasion, they were nonetheless attacked while keeping people and property safe in the Larne area.

“As a result of this protest the A8 carriageway had to be closed for a period of time, causing significant disruption to those living and working across the Larne area.

A placard carried by one protester. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

“Officers at the scene worked closely with community representatives who were working on the ground throughout the evening. I would urge any others within our community with influence to use this influence to stop a reoccurrence of this type of activity.”

Chief Superintendent Davy Beck added: “I want to reassure the community that police will continue to carry out additional patrols across Larne, and I ask anyone who witnesses anti-social or criminal behaviour to contact police on 101 so that we can respond.”

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