Belfast Telegraph

Derision for troublemakers who turned St Patrick's Day celebrations ugly in Belfast

Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Tuesday 17th March 2015 - Flag Burning
Pictured is a republican youth burring a Union Jack flag that was stolen from a Flag Protester in Belfast
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Tuesday 17th March 2015 - Flag Burning Pictured is a republican youth burring a Union Jack flag that was stolen from a Flag Protester in Belfast Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Youths in Donegall Place burn Union flag outside City Hall Pic: Johnny Caldwell @Johnny_Caldwell
Loyalist protesters at Belfast City Hall after the St Patrick's Day Carnival parade in Belfast city centre. Picture by Press Eye
Tuesday 17th March 2015 - Flag Standoff Pictured is Loyalist Flag Protesters and St Patricks day revellers at a stand off outside Belfast City Hall Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Loyalist protester at Belfast City Hall after the St Patrick's Day Carnival parade in Belfast city centre. Picture by Press Eye
Loyalist Flag Protesters and St Patricks day revellers at a stand off outside Belfast City Hall Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Loyalist protesters at Belfast City Hall after the St Patrick's Day Carnival parade in Belfast city centre. Picture by Press Eye
Pictured is Loyalist Flag Protesters and St Patricks day revellers at a stand off outside Belfast City Hall Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Loyalist protester at Belfast City Hall after the St Patrick's Day Carnival parade in Belfast city centre. Picture by Press Eye
Pictured is Loyalist Flag Protesters and St Patricks day revellers at a stand off outside Belfast City Hall Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Loyalist protester at Belfast City Hall after the St Patrick's Day Carnival parade in Belfast city centre. Picture by Press Eye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015.
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
Boyband 'HomeTown' play at Custom house Square
Boyband 'HomeTown' play at Custom house Square
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Highland dancers on stage Irish dancers on stage
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Highland dancers on stage
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Highland dancers on stage
Belfast Lord Mayor with Citybeat's Stephen Clements and Sara?Neil.
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 17th March 2015 - St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. Thousands of people descended on Belfast city centre today (17 March) to enjoy the city?s annual spectacular St Patrick?s Day parade and concert. Sandra and Trevor McKeeman Organised by Belfast City Council, the family-friendly celebrations were officially started by Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon who led the high-energy carnival parade, created by BEAT Carnival. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
St Patrick's Day Carnival parade and Concert in Belfast city centre. March 17 2015. Picture Presseye
People in Rome taking selfies in front of the ‘greened’ Colosseum.
Niagara Falls joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Mussenden Temple and Venus, pictured by Glenn Miles
Coca-Cola London Eye on London's South Bank is lit green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day, which is on Tuesday 17th March.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patron celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Harbour View Hotel on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
The Great Wall of China joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
The Cibeles Fountain and Palacio de Comunicaciones in Madrid, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Christ the Redeemer illuminated in green to celebrate the upcoming Irish festivity of Saint Patrick's Day, atop Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBAYASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patrons celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Orient Hotel on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patrons celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Orient Hotel on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Irelands Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London is lit green by Tourism Ireland in celebration ahead of St Patrick's Day, on Tuesday 17th.
Kayakers float on the Chicago River after being dyed green ahead of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago, Saturday, March 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
The Allianz Arena, home to Bayern Munich, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Irelands Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), joins Tourism Irelands Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Irelands Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Ciara Kelly photographs Gareth Maguire on a mobile phone by the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, south east London, which is decorated green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day, which is on Tuesday 17th March.
The Colosseum in Rome joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
The Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, south east London, is decorated green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day, which is on Tuesday 17th March.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patrons celebrate St Patrick's Day at P.J. O'Brien's Irish pub on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patrons celebrate St Patrick's Day at P.J. O'Brien's Irish pub on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Patrons celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Orient Hotel on March 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Edinburgh Castle in Scotland illuminated green as it is among more than 100 international landmarks turning green to mark St Patrick's Day.
Glasgow's SSE Hydro Arena and Armadillo in Scotland illuminated green as they are among mo
Edinburgh Airport control tower in Scotland illuminated green as it is among more than 100 international landmarks turning green to mark St Patrick's Day.
Retired professional boxer Barry McGuigan at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
Bolivian traditional dancers take part in the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People dressed up at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A woman waves an Irish flag at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A group of girls at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 15, 2015. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People celebrate at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A girl holds an Irish flag at the front of a band at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People gather at Trafalgar Square at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A mobile figure of St. Patrick at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A bystander takes a photo of a elephant float at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
A woman waves an Irish flag at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A woman waves an Irish flag at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People dressed up at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A participant at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
People dressed up at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A woman enjoys the day at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
A woman enjoys the day at the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire.
Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London is lit green by Tourism Ireland in celebration ahead of St Patrick's Day. Matt Alexander/PA Wire .

By Leslley Houston

It was a day that began so well, with people from both sides of the community joining in the St Patrick’s Day parade.

The Belfast City Council event, created by Beat Carnival, reflected the spirit of the organising body’s name, achieving a mood of collective goodwill.

It was indeed a carnival atmosphere on the streets of the city yesterday, before 1pm at least.

When flag protesters arrived in front of the City Hall, their presence was the catalyst for a swift turn of temper.

Northern Ireland’s entrenched factional tensions erupted when their arrival prompted a sectarian slanging match between unionists and nationalists draped in tricolours.

A small, dignified group of protesters arrived for a 24-hour protest until 1pm today, protesting against he “field of green white and orange” enveloping the city while the Union flag —permitted to fly yesterday in honour of Ireland’s patron saint — is restricted to just 20 further days.

Many of those who gathered are part of the regular contingent of protesters who meet outside City Hall every Saturday since the council took the decision to restrict the flying of the flag back in December 2012.

What had been a joyful mood at noon had soured by 1pm with venomous expletives replacing the music which had people dancing on the spot as they lined the procession.

Amid the palpable tension was the anachronistic spectacle of a group of people playing with a gigantic skipping rope.

Frenchmen Basile Rousseau and Sullyvan Mariette looked bemused as they arrived at Donegall Place around 2pm.

As flags of red, white and blue planted outside the City Hall grounds vied for supremacy against the roving sea of green, white and gold, the pair, who came to work in Belfast last September, had never seen St Patrick’s Day in motion before.

“It’s quite scary. We didn’t expect this at all,” said Basile.

Visitors from Milton Keynes, Daniel Crawley and Emma Johnson, took the crowds in their stride, noting how many of those involved in the abusive exchanges were “very young”.

“I don’t think it’s very intimidating at all really,” Daniel said.

“We were here for the parade which was great and went down to Custom House Square and we were thinking it’s just a lot of children off school.”

Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon said: “Twelve thousand people, mostly young families, attended today’s St Patrick’s Day parade and carnival with 5,500 at the free concert in Custom House Square.

“The atmosphere was happy and fun and both events passed off peacefully. For a tiny minority with nothing to do with these events to turn up afterwards to antagonise and provoke is not only sorrowful, it is shameful.”

Last night, hundreds of young people gathered in the Holylands area of south Belfast and as it turned dark police in the area said while spirits were high there had been no serious incidents.

Hundreds of people milled around drinking and the streets were littered with broken glass.

Agincourt Avenue was a sea of people but police were on beat patrol in the area amid the crowds keeping control.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph