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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Arrests at Stormont anti-lockdown protest as five further deaths reported

  • Death toll rises to 615
  • Crowd of 300 gathers at Stormont to demonstrate against coronavirus regulations
  • Four prison officers test positive at the Hydebank Wood facility
  • Police have arrested a number of people after a crowd of around 300 protesters gathered at Stormont to demonstrate against coronavirus regulations.

    The gathering, close to the Massey Avenue gates to the estate, was heavily policed.

    There was a number of police vehicles present, and a warning had been read to those gathered over loudspeaker of a risk of prosecution under the coronavirus restrictions against large groups meeting outside.

    Pictures from the scene show a number of protesters being arrested by police.

    Close

    Police officers detain an anti-lockdown protester on the Stormont estate in Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 18, 2020. See PA story ULSTER Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA/PA Wire

    Police officers detain an anti-lockdown protester on the Stormont estate in Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 18, 2020. See PA story ULSTER Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA/PA Wire

    PA

    Police officers detain an anti-lockdown protester on the Stormont estate in Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 18, 2020. See PA story ULSTER Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA/PA Wire

    Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “Today we saw a crowd of over 300 people in attendance at a protest held at the Stormont Estate grounds in Belfast. The numbers in attendance and the lack of social distancing in the crowd were in stark contrast with assurances given to police by the organisers in the days leading up to the event.

    “Police engaged with the organisers before and during the protest in an attempt to encourage them to disperse and comply with the Health Protection Regulations.

    "Unfortunately both the organisers and participants did not cooperate with these requests and continued in breach of the regulations.

    “Officers therefore moved to enforce the regulations resulting in the issue of fixed penalty notices and a number of arrests. We will also conduct follow up enquiries to seek to identify others who may have committed offences.

    Close

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 
The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.
PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    “As I have said previously, in other times, we would work with organisers and protestors to facilitate lawful and peaceful protests, however, these are not ordinary times.

    "The Health Protection Regulations, particularly at this time with increased restrictions in place, are there to protect us all during this pandemic and it is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to them to protect our society.”

    Stormont anti-lockdown protest Close

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - 

Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’  in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. 

The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’.

PSNI officers  made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Press Eye - Belfast - 18th October 2020 - Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. The event was advertised as a peaceful gathering opposing the ‘mandatory wearing of masks, lockdowns and fear mongering’. PSNI officers made several arrests at the event and issued tickets. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    Members of the public take part in a ‘Peaceful Gathering’ in the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

    Meanwhile, five people have died and 1,012 have tested positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours, the Department of Health has confirmed.

    The death toll has now risen to 615 people.

    Two deaths occurred in Lisburn and Castlereagh, with the others occurring in the Causeway Coast and Glens, Derry and Strabane and Ards and North Down areas.

    The total number of confirmed infections is now 27,220 after a further 1,012 people tested positive for Covid-19.

    There are now 228 people with Covid-19 in hospital. Thirty of these patients are in intensive care, 23 of which are ventilated.

    There are 72 active outbreaks of the virus in Northern Ireland care homes.

    See how Sunday's coverage unfolded:

    Belfast Telegraph