05/02/2013

75% Believe Flag Protests Should Stop

Over 75% of people believe the union flag protests at Belfast City Hall should stop, according to the BBC.

BBC Spotlight surveyed the public in an opinion poll on the continuing protests over the limiting of the flying of the union flag at City Hall.

Belfast City Councillors voted on 3 December to restrict the flying of the flag to designated days. It had previously flown all year round.

Many unionists have argued that the decision is an erosion of their cultural identity and have been engaging in regular protests across Northern Ireland.

The Spotlight poll found nearly half of unionists believe they should continue.

The full results of the survey are to be broadcast on BBC1.
News Image
The BBC says the poll showed nearly half of all people believed the flag protesters had the right to take to the streets immediately after the vote. But this support seems to have slipped by late January, possibly as a result of outbreaks of violence and hundreds of arrests and attacks on police officers.

Only a fifth of those interviewed said protests should continue, while 77% of people thought they should stop.

The polls show a change of heart for many who had initially shown support for the protests.

The BBC says the reasons given included violence sparked by the protests, the damaging impact on business and the disruption to traffic.

But the Spotlight poll says a large number of unionists remain sympathetic - 45% of unionists interviewed told the pollsters they believed the union flag protests should continue.

(IT)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 February 2020
Other News In Brief
New BBC Good Morning Ulster Presenters Announced BBC NI has announced two new presenters for its breakfast news programme Good Morning Ulster. Chris Buckler and Sarah Brett will take over from broadcasters Noel Thopson and Karen Patterson, who announced they would be stepping away from the show in November.
30 January 2020
Two New Lifts Installed At MoT Centres
Two new MoT vehicle lifts are to be installed at local test centres, the Infrastructure Minister has announced. Originally purchased at the end of last year, installation of the equipment has been accelerated to provide additional capacity and help mitigate the impact of ongoing test suspensions.
28 January 2020
MOT Tests Suspended Across NI
MOT tests for cars and light vehicles have been suspended for further notice. The Department for Infrastructure announced on Monday evening that tests have been suspended "with immediate effect". The move comes after faults with vehicle lifts were identified.
20 February 2013
Crusaders Call For End To Flag Protests
North Belfast football club Crusaders have called for an end to union flag protests around their stadium, after a game against Cliftonville last Saturday was cancelled.
20 February 2020
Rain & Wind Warnings Issued For NI
Wind and rain warnings have been issued for Friday and Saturday as the weather takes a turn for the worse. The forecast for the next few days remains unsettled, although less severe than previous weeks, with the potential for strong gales and heavy rain across Northern Ireland.