Councillor Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín today accused flag protesters outside Belfast City Hall of harassing and verbally abusing people, including young children, attending an Irish language celebration.
“The St Patrick’s Day event inside City Hall hosted by Belfast Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to celebrate the city’s diverse Irish language community was a huge success,” said the Sinn Féin Councillor.
“It was positive, respectful and inclusive of all the city’s burgeoning Irish language community.
“It recognised the contribution of a range of individuals in promoting Irish and Irish culture in a positive pluralist fashion right across the city.
“The flag protestors outside on the other hand were very provocative and some of them harassed and verbally abused people, including young children, on their way into City Hall.
“Some of the protestors then tried to get in to City Hall in an effort to disrupt the cultural celebration.
“It’s ironic that St Patrick’s Day is one of the designated days when the Union flag flies in Belfast.
“And given that the flag protests are normally held on Saturdays it’s clear that the intent today was to provoke and create tension.” Críoch