‘Major rally’ details announced as unionists voice regret at Sinn Fein anonymity ruling

Jim Allister, a QC and leader of the TUV, has described a ruling to keep the identity of a Sinn Fein man behind a current major court case hidden as “a retrograde step”.

By Adam Kula
Friday, 4th March 2022, 6:55 pm
Jim Allister speaking at an earlier Protocol rally
Jim Allister speaking at an earlier Protocol rally

He was speaking as the News Letter was thwarted in its bid to remove the order banning the identification of the man known only as JR181(3) – or Mr X for short.

Mr Justice Colton affirmed that the anonymity order will stay in place at the High Court in Belfast today, because of the risk posed to the individual’s security if they are named due to the possibility of Protocol-related violence.

Mr Allister added: “As a leader of legitimate and lawful protest against the iniquitous Protocol, I reject any incidental slur that protesters I speak for present any threat.”

Fellow Brexiteer Baroness Hoey also weighed in, saying: “If our legal system is to maintain the trust of the public it must be transparent.

“I am deeply troubled by Justice Colton allowing this person to remain nameless.”

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Crossgar in Co Down will host an anti-protocol rally on Friday, March 11, at 7.30pm at the town’s Orange Hall.

Ben Habib, Kate Hoey, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, UUP Assembly candidate Jill McCauley and Mr Allister are set to speak at the event, which is described by organisers as a “major rally”.

It had previously been postponed due to DUP MLA Christopher Stalford’s death.

Lecale District Orange Lodge Number 2, which is hosting the protestors, said in a statement: “We are particularly grateful that Mr Habib has taken time to travel from London for the event.

“His support for the Unionist cause, particularly in the judicial review of the protocol, have endeared him to the people of Northern Ireland and I have no doubt that many will want to give him a warm welcome.

“We are also delighted that Baroness Hoey has been able to join us on this new date.

“The Orange Institution has been to the fore in fighting the Protocol which has divided our nation and I believe that this event will serve an important propose both in keeping our politicians honest on the issue and informing the general public about the constitutional and economic impact of the Protocol.

“All Unionists and loyalists are most welcome to attend what promises to be a very informative evening.”

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