PSNI make final appeal to organisers of ‘largest ever’ NI Protocol rally before it starts today

The PSNI has made a fresh appeal to organisers of an anti-NI Protocol rally in Portadown today to contact them.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Saturday, 5th June 2021, 8:45 am
The Northern Ireland Protocol has caused great tensions among unionists and loyalists.

Organisers, the ‘Mid Ulster Coalition’ of loyalists and unionists, believe the event, at 3pm, could be the largest yet, predicting up to 4000 attending. A flyer for the event slams the NI Protocol and what organisers describe as “two tier policing”.

It is understood some 4000-5000 flyers were also printed to promote the event.

Organisers have not applied to the Parades Commission for the event, meaning it could be in breach of parading legislation. Current Covid restrictions limit outdoor gatherings to 500 spectators and 500 participants and require a risk assessment for events larger than 30 people.

Police have repeatedly appealed to organisers to engage with them in the interests of public safety.

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said: “We are aware of a potential protest in Portadown on Saturday 5th June. We have spoken to a number of community representatives but would still encourage those organising to speak with police.

“The area where it is planned to take place is in the commercial centre of Portadown and I would like to assure the community that we will have an appropriate police response in place to minimise disruption and ensure the safety of all.”

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