North Irish protests peaceful as 'flag' riots subside

By REUTERS
January 19, 2013 01:10

BELFAST - Protests in Northern Ireland passed off peacefully for the first Friday night this year after almost six weeks of rioting by pro-British loyalists.

The loyalists have held nightly demonstrations since pro-Irish nationalist councilors voted last month to end a century-old tradition of flying the British union flag every day over Belfast City Hall.

The flag's removal unearthed deep discontent among loyalists, who complain of feeling left behind by political changes since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought an uneasy end to three decades of sectarian conflict that cost some 3,600 lives


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